What’s God’s View On Retirement And The Christian As We Get Older?
Retirement is a relatively new concept from a historical perspective. In our generation, we see an age of when an older employee should ‘retire’ from their work at a company set at 55, 60, 65 or some other age. The reason why we didn’t see retirement as an option so much in past generations is due to the lack of technology or know-how that would enable people to save money during their prime years that would be able to support them in their later years. Another interesting point to note is that people lived longer before the flood of Noah so it would be expensive to save for hundreds of years.
Since the 1940s, companies and even governments have aspired to give their employees or citizens the benefit of some type of monthly payment to cover the cost of living of these ‘retired’ people. We have seen that when people stop working or retire from their regular routines, that is the beginning of the end. Some say retirement is one step closer to death. We know God is positive so these negative concepts do not come from Him.
The Bible does not make mention of the work retire or quit working. We see in Numbers 8:23-26 that the priest were to serve and eventually cease from their work. Other than that, we don’t see a lot about retirement but we do see God’s take on the topic.
What’s God’s Take On Retirement?
When you look at the Bible we see that there really is no concept of retirement like the secular world in our generation. However, Jesus established His church in Matthew 16:18. The church is not just a gathering of God’s people. It is also a place where people can go to get temporary help when they are in a hard place financially, physically, and in other areas. The Bible talks a lot about helping widows and orphans such as in James 1:27. The early church did exactly that in the book of Acts. But what about those couples that get older? Are they to retire from activity or in this case working?
Retirement may be something pushed on you by your company or government, but Christians should not retire. We are to be fruitful in our youth, middle age, and older years. When you look at Psalm 92:12-14 you see that we still ‘bear fruit’ in our old age. Secondly Psalms says we flourish because we are planted in the house of the Lord. What does that mean? If you want to be blessed, you are to be serving in your church and helping, encouraging and building up others.
Time To Relax?
As established above, retirement is not a biblical concept. We are never to just shut down and do nothing. Many of us in developed nations are forced into retirement as the organization has decided that we are too old to do something. If you are in that situation, it’s time to turn that lemon into lemonade.
As we age, we get wiser. Someone may want to trade their body for a 20 year olds, but not many would be willing to change their personality or knowledge for that limited experience and wisdom. That means, you have experience you can share with others that can make them wiser. You have advice that you can give that will help someone avoid a pit your fell into in your life.
What Can I Do When I’m Retired?
Don’t sit around the house and feel sorry for yourself. Don’t tell us how your family is all too busy to come see you. Have a life! Life your own life and be thankful for the children that you influenced for the Lord in your life. Retirement is not the end!
If you need to retire, retire from the company. Then find a new job. Stay active so you can stay healthy both mentally and physically. Many pastors would be so appreciative to have you at a church. There are so many things you can do to influence youth and the coming generations. YOU can make a difference! First of all, make sure you’re in a good church that is Spirit-filled and has leadership committed to teaching the uncompromised Word of God. Here are some examples of what you can do both inside and outside your church.
- Help out at your church as an usher, greeter, or some other way on meeting days
- Lead people to Jesus and show them how to walk in His abundant life.
- Assist one of the Bible teachers at your church
- Start a weekly Bible study in your area
- Make a good friend and go out with them to pray for the sick, encourage people, and show the love of your church to your community
- Work a job where you can be around people in retail, a home centers, a shopping mall, a train station, an airport
- Go on a mission with your church and help people in another country
- Start your own company so no one can tell you to retire and use all your resources to reach people for Jesus
- Learn a musical instrument to that you can lead people in worship
- Go to a retirement home and encourage people, lead them to Jesus, and get them baptized in the Holy Spirit
- Teach a class at the local college
- Take a class that will teach you something you can put to use for others.
The possibilities are infinite for what you can do. Many times you should focus on using your gifts and talents for the Lord and the Holy Spirit will bless that in many multiples. There are so many things you can do with yourself where you can be a positive influence on people. There is no reason to retire, lose your health, and die. God wants you to live long and He wants you to live strong. The only way to do that is not to follow the ways of the world (Romans 12:1-2) but be transformed by renewing your mind according to the Word of God (the Bible). When you stay active, and if you can truly stop working and live off your savings, there is still a lot of influence you can have on this world. When you go be to be with the Lord, it will just be a natural step because life on the earth is just an imperfect copy of life on.
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