Monday, September 05, 2016

Labor Day For A Lazy Nation

You can be a hard worker in one context, but lazy in another. However hard Americans work on their jobs, and many of them are lazy even in that context, they're horribly negligent when it comes to the most important matters in life. You can click on our label for posts on Time Management for documentation of what Americans' priorities are, how they spend their time, how ignorant they are of religion, politics, and other important issues, etc. We shouldn't just look at the current state of our nation, but also its state relative to its potential. We're better than other parts of the world in many ways, but often largely because of what we received from our forefathers rather than what we achieved ourselves, and we fall far shorter of our potential. "From everyone who has been given much, much will be required" (Luke 12:48).

I've written in the past about how parents, pastors, and others in positions of so much influence often fail to make good use of holidays. Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, and Father's Day, for example, could be put to so much good use as opportunities to teach people about the differences between the genders, the nature of marriage, parenting, etc. But we don't make much use of those holidays. The Supreme Court's Obergefell decision was announced the same week as Father's Day. I rarely see people make an issue of that, even though it has so much potential for teaching and providing illustrations of how absurd the Court's ruling is.

Labor Day is another holiday that has a lot of potential for good use, but instead is wasted. Often, it's used to do the opposite of what it should be used for. Instead of using it to refocus people on the areas of life where hard work is the most important and so neglected, we use the holiday as an opportunity to encourage laziness in those contexts while commending people for being such hard workers on their jobs. When the book of Proverbs warns about laziness, for example, does it only do so in the context of employment? No, it addresses the subject more broadly. Most of the people who will be spending today at barbecues, watching sporting events, reading romance novels, getting drunk, doing housework, watching trivial television programs and movies, etc. are so ignorant of the Bible that they can't name the four gospels and so ignorant of history, politics, and current events that they can't name the three branches of government. They're also ignorant of a lot of other important things, as I've been documenting for years. Instead of commending them for being such hard workers on their jobs while encouraging laziness in more important contexts, we should make better use of the holiday.

For example, it would help if pastors would stop commending their congregations as hard workers when the evidence for that commendation is so lacking. It would be good if they'd stop encouraging people to spend so much time on sports, movies, etc. when Americans have such a major problem with spending too much time on such things. Instead of joking about how you'll be sure to have the sermon finished before the football game starts or frequently making comments to your congregation about how many movies you watch, why don't you encourage them to be more wise in their use of time (Ephesians 5:15-6)?

We need to rethink our use of holidays, including Labor Day.

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