Congratulations! You have survived Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and most of Cyber Monday. This year I even heard one news station, refer to Thanksgiving afternoon and evening as Gray Thursday. All of this day naming stems from our desire to see economic recovery. We can expect that in the next few days people will be looking at the sales numbers, and thereby deciding whether our economy has gotten healthier.
While I agree the sales figures reflect the confidence of consumers, I don’t believe this is the best way to analyze our economy. Spending is not necessarily good economically speaking. The economy grows when some product is designed, manufactured, and marketed at a profit. If only one of the steps is done in the United States, then purchasing it on Black Friday is not a boost to the economy.
On Friday, I went shopping. At the checkout line, the cashier mentioned the crowd was smaller than she expected, at both her jobs. She has two different jobs, at two different department stores. Both are part time. Neither provide her with benefits. Both jobs pay barely above minimum-wage. She is a child of our economic age; selling goods produced in other countries, getting her benefits from the government, and having no prospects for a career.
We don’t produce goods in this country because it’s too expensive. Manufacturers have laws requiring they provide livable wages and benefits. Consumers will buy goods manufactured in other countries not thus constrained. So the economy should not just be measured by spending but rather by spending balanced with production. I don’t think I’m smart enough to know how to bring manufacturing back to our country. But I don’t think I’m gullible enough to believe we can heal our economy without it.
Humanity was made for the purpose of serving, knowing, loving and spending eternity with God. Definitions like this has been a part of Christianity for a couple of thousand years. If there is a difference in the way I choose to phrase it, it is my choice to put serving first. Humanity is made to do meaningful work, and when we are kept from working we suffer from a lowered quality of life.
We were assigned to work beginning in the Garden of Eden. Some people see this as a punishment for sin, but look closer and notice this assignment started before the fall. The fall, the introduction of sinfulness to this earth, made the assignment harder but was after the inception of the task.
Study the book of Ecclesiastes to get an idea of how important it is for our work to be meaningful. The author of this book struggled with life, work and mostly himself to see the meaning in his tasks. People today are not much different. We have an innate need to see the value of our work.
Another aspect of our work being valuable to us is, our own labors make us invested in the area in which we work. This investment connects us and motivates us in the different arenas of our life. When a man is not invested in his family, church, workplace, hobbies or anywhere else, these bonds will be in danger of breaking. Choosing one of these as an example, the work a man does for the sake of his family helps to keep his love for his family strong.
In conclusion, we were made to do meaningful things. So my assignment for the day is decide what meaningful task you will accomplish and then look for who and what it serves. Do an intentional study of your work for the day and see if it stands up to God’s purposes in assigning humanity work.
Those who work for a living make America better; those who do not work weaken it.
Those who work for a living help maintain the economy; those who do not work destabilize it.
Those who work contribute to the national standard of living; those who do not work lower it.
Those who work raise the standard of national education; those who do not work undermine the primary reason for education.
Those who work can raise the cultural climate of our country; those who do not work lower the quality of our culture.
Those who work will always have respect; those who do not work will have less respect and may forget how to behave respectfully.
Those who work will always have greater dignity; those who do not work will never feel as good about themselves.
Those who work will protect America’s freedom and ability to stay free; those who do not work move our nation toward slavery.
Those who work deserve a fair wage, safety in the workplace, and the gratitude of the nation.
Happy Labor Day.