God gave us the greatest example of labor. He has worked since He created this world and continues to labor for His people. He never rests from accomplishing His will and He expects His people to follow the example He has set. We are expected to continue working for God until the day we pass into eternal life and meet our boss. This eternal retirement is when our current work on earth is complete. We have our earth suits on today, our spirits will continue in eternity.
What is the Christian view of retirement?”
God as a Worker
Unlike most of us, we do not have a journal of all that we have accomplished. The Bible is a record of God’s works and provides specific illustrations of what labor is to God. We have both a list of what He has already done as well as a list of promises as to what else He will do. He is constantly working as Jesus said in John 5:17, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” God is always working and we should continue working for God in all of our days.
The Real Deal?
Is there a true retirement plan for God’s people? As we contemplate the worldly version of retirement, we may explore many hobbies such as golfing, fishing, traveling or gardening. These are all ways to find rest. God has promised His people rest – just like He rests. After creation, God did not end his work. He merely paused and rested before continuing. He is still working today. If God is continuing his work today, why would we ever stop doing His work?
Here are some useful guidelines to distinguish between a worldly and godly retirement:
1. Age based retirement is not scriptural.
There is no magic age in the Bible saying that we should stop working at a certain age. Yet we do it all the time.
2. Never retire from God’s Work.
Your job title and description may change, but you should always serve the Lord in whatever opportunities He provides. We can be productive at any age as long as mental and physical health is present.
3. Retirement to a life of leisure is not scriptural.
Retirement will involve much pleasure and leisure. But, this should not be the sole focus. Paul warns about this in Timothy 5:6: “the widow who lives for pleasure is dead while she yet lives”
4. Creating a legacy is noble, creating a windfall may not be
2Corinthians 12:14 states that the parent ought to lay up for the children. ” But by far the greatest thing to “lay up” is one’s spiritual heritage which can be passed on not only to children but to grandchildren and maybe great-grandchildren as well. There should be a desire to pass godly wisdom before worldly riches.