It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Our standard work week in America is 40 hours.
We work five more hours a week than the French, which totals a whopping nine more weeks a year for Americans. Most of us get two weeks off for vacation, while the average European gets six weeks of vacation.
Two out of three Americans also fail to get eight hours of sleep a night, and 40 percent of them said they have a hard time staying awake on the job.
We are working harder, longer, and sleeping less. This isn’t anything new as we read today’s Bible verse.
We aren’t any happier than we were 50 years ago when we worked less, made less money, and had less productivity. King Solomon had it right when he said that we work too hard and sleep less in vain. We do this in vain because we are “eating the bread of anxious toil”.
Essentially, we are worrying too much about having enough money for things that ultimately don’t matter (Matthew 6:31-33).
Instead of seeking money to pay for all of the things we are worried about in life, we should first seek God, his kingdom, and his righteousness (Matthew 6:33).
After all, he is the Creator of the universe.
This isn’t to say that we should go about our lives without working or having a job, but that we will have a purpose; no longer will we work in vain, but we will work for the kingdom of God.
Our job won’t be just about money, but doing what the Lord has called us to do to advance his kingdom. Imagine going to work and not dreading it because you know God has a plan for you there.
Sometimes we worry too much about our future instead of asking God what he wants us to do in the here and now.
Are you too busy working for yourself, instead of stepping back and asking God where he would have you work?
Continue the Life In Vain series:
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