Speaking the Truth in Love

Christian Retirement

Retirement is primarily a Western, twentieth-century idea. We’ve promoted the idea that retirement revolves around withdrawing from work in order to enjoy life to the fullest without obligation, commitment, or worry. Secular retirement is a reward for all your hard work in the secular workplace. But the only place in the Bible that mentions anything like retirement is found in Numbers 8:23-26. God tells Moses that the Levites-the priests who were charged with serving God by doing much of the work in and around the Tabernacle-were allowed to begin their work at age twenty-five and work until the mandatory retirement age of fifty. However, these retired priests were expected to take on the role of assisting the younger men in performing their work. The older men were expected to mentor the younger men in their trade by providing the wisdom and leadership that came from twenty-five years of experience in serving the Lord. Today, if we’ve planned well and are fortunate enough to live on our retirement savings and SS, we can retire from our job. But, a Christian can never retire from serving God. is While we may have moved into a new season in our lives, we should take every opportunity we have to serve the Lord. For a lot of members, retirement gives them new ways of working for God, be that in paid work, in voluntary commitment, in the ministry of prayer or visitation, etc. God calls us to labor in his vineyard until he calls us home. We may not have the ability to preach, lead singing, or even walk up to the podium to lead prayer. But neither should we confine ourselves to one particular area of service if we can do more. We should never get to the point where we sa “I’ ,, At Y ve put in my time I’ll let the young people take over. end of our life, we ~ope to say, like the Apostle Paul said, 1 have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, 1 have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). Scott Jackson

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