The subject of today’s quote is contentment. While our culture tends to regard honest, hard work as a virtue, is it possible that it’s not? Didn’t Solomon teach us to consider the ways of the hard-working ant, that we should be wise and not lazy? Today’s quote seems to tell us that for all our labor, we will not be satisfied. Or does it?
“All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the soul is not satisfied.” - Ecclesiastes 6:7 NKJV
As are most things Biblical, today’s quote about laboring for our mouths and not being satisfied, is about the heart. We all have to work to earn a living and support ourselves and our families, and God has promised that he will bless those who serve Him in our work. The serving God part is the key to true contentment.
If we are working only to acquire more and more stuff, if all our labor was for our proverbial mouth, then we may be successful in becoming materially wealthy. However, the Bible teaches us that if this is our intent, then we will never be satisfied in our soul. If all the labor of man was for his Master, i.e. God, then the soul would surely be satisfied. Regardless of our material wealth, we would find contentment.
What do you think?
Related Bible Verses
Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! - Proverbs 6:6 NIV
Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer. - Proverbs 30:25 NIV
Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him. – John 6:27 NKJV
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? – Mark 8:36 NKJV
January 25, 2012 No Comments
Our quote for today is from Elizabeth Barrett Browning, a prominent English poet from the 19th century, about a job well done.
Measure not the work until the day is out and the labor done. – Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806 – 1861)
This is good advice for those who wish to live with integrity, doing their work at their best and to completion. It is also in line with Biblical principles that we find in the New Testament. Regarding how we are to do our work, or labor, the Apostle Paul says:
“Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men.” – Ephesians 6:5-7
So whether you have a paying job or not, work for someone or work for yourself, or go to school or are retired; whatever you are doing today, if you find yourself in a position of doing or serving, do it as if you are doing it for Jesus. And don’t pat yourself on the back, let God do that for you. And don’t measure the work until the day’s out and the labor is done.
Note that Elizabeth Barrett Browning was married to another famous English poet, Robert Browning.
June 17, 2010 2 Comments
The quote “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” is an old English proverb expressing the idea that if we focus our lives solely on work, then we become dull and boring. It was made famous in modern times largely due to the Stephen King book and movie “The Shining“.
The Bible teaches us that there are times when we should refrain from work, but for completely different reasons: to worship God and to refresh ourselves.
Within the Ten Commandments we are instructed to “remember the sabbath to keep it holy”. In the New Testament the Church gathered together on the first day of each week to worship God and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. These times are intended for us to set aside so that we could be spritually and physically refreshed.
Even Jesus, during His ministry, took time to rest with His disciples:
And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves. – Mark 6:31-32 NKJV
Furthermore, Jesus also taught the appropriate perspective on the “sabbath”. God has given us the Sabbath day for our benefit.
And he said unto them, “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.” – Mark 2:27 NKJV
God has ordained at least one day a week for us to put away our work, focus on Him, and get rest for our body and soul. Let us look at our day of worship as a favor God has done for us rather than as a burden of service. It is for our own well being.
There are also times where we may need an extended period of rest, and as we do so, do it with the knowledge and gratitude that this too is a gift from God. With such an attitude your “down time” is sure to become “up time”.
Lastly, taking time off from work for relaxation has nothing to do with keeping yourself interesting so as not to bore others. This is a worldy perspective and not Biblical in the least. God has created each of us for His purposes, and if we take the Bible’s approach to rest, He will surely use that time to make us more like the Master.
March 21, 2010 No Comments