Is Retirement Biblical?

Today’s guest post comes from my friend and blogging hero, Sammy Adebiyi. I can say, in all honesty, that Sammy is my blogging soulmate. I think things and then he writes them–often with more passion and wit that I could ever conjure up. I’m honored and excited to feature him on Modern Reject. I hope you enjoy this post. I know I did!

Every time I hear the word ‘retirement’, I cringe. I can honestly say I HATE that word. If there is a word that describes the polar opposite of how I want my life to end, it would be the word ʻretirementʼ.

Just to be clear, if what you mean by retirement is being intentional about saving (in the context of giving) so you can sustain your family when your body fails you, then Iʼm with you. Sign me up.

But, if you follow Jesus and your vision of retirement is saving up so you can move to Hawaii, lay in the sun all day and enjoy the fruit of your labor at 65 [i.e live a relaxed and comfortable life till you die] then Iʼm concerned.

No, Iʼm appalled.

I get it if you call me ignorant or naive.

Maybe I am.

Iʼm sure you can make a solid argument for retirement. Iʼm sure you can give me 100 legitimate reasons why you deserve to suntan in Jamaica the rest of your life.

Iʼm sure you got it all figured out. Thereʼs just only one problem with your plan if youʼre a Christian.

The Bible.

Iʼve read this thing through and through and I just donʼt see ʻretirementʼ anywhere in the bible. Not once.
Paul. Moses. David. Esther. Deborah. Jesus. Peter. Paul.

Not one.

If anything, what you see over and over again in the Bible is the reverse of retirement.

These men and women of faith loved more, risked more and gave more as they neared the end.

Iʼm sorry but I just donʼt see how we can marry “carry your cross and follow me” with the American dream. I know we donʼt call it that but come on, be honest.

Retirement for Christians is often just the American dream with a cross around itʼs neck.

I know this might sound harsh, but dear older generation, on behalf of my generation, can I just tell you that your retirement plan does not inspire us at all? In fact it bores us.

You know what gets us fired up?

Passion. Risk. Sacrifice. Selflessness. Vision.

All things we need to see from you to be all we can be. Also, all things you canʼt have while collecting shells in the bahamas.

Donʼt get me wrong, Iʼm not saying retirement isnʼt fun. Iʼm sure it is, and if youʼre lucky you might spend the last 10 years of your life completely worry free.

But what a tragedy. What a wasted life. Congratulations, you stored up treasure for yourself on earth. You worked your whole life so you could sleep away the last 20.

Not me. Iʼm going down fighting. Iʼm laying up treasures in heaven where moth cannot destroy.

Iʼm hoping to go out on a blaze of glory [His]. As long as I have breath, by his grace, Iʼm leaning in the story of God.

When my wife Ashley and I are too old to have kids, we will keep adopting.
When they tell us we are too old to adopt, we will foster.
When they tell us we are too old to foster, we will live simpler and help someone else adopt.We will go on missions trips till they tell us not to come because we are too old to help. We will give way more [percentage wise] at the end than we ever gave at our prime. We will love, fight and dream.

We will say to those behind us, follow us as we follow Christ.

And by Gods grace, I hope at the end, whenever that is, we can say like Paul, we have fought the good fight, we have finished the race and now awaits for us a crown.

I hope we can say that and I hope you can too.

So, what do you think? Is retirement biblical? How do you see yourself living out your later years? 

Sammy grew up in Nigeria. He is currently the Young Adult Pastor at NorthPoint Church. He’s also a national speaker for Food for the Hungry and The Mocha Club. He lives in Ohio with his wife Ashley and daughters Bebe and Eden.

66 thoughts on “Is Retirement Biblical?”

  1. This brought to mind the parable about the landowner who decided to build bigger barns. Thanks for the perspective shift.

  2. My ‘retirement’ will be thusly: I shall propel, push, prompt, and prayerfully empower and enable my children to surpass me in all things Jesus, thereby leaving a legacy in The Spirit.

    My life will fade, but His Name will be carried by my children. Legacy, indeed.

    “The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.” Psalm 16:6

    So, yes, I will one day return to the dirt, as we all will. But consider that as for now, here, today, we have the opportunity to sow into the lives of our children so that His Name will be attached to our Houses, even long after we have breathed our last. Retirement? Nah. Legacy.

      1. Psalm 16:6 is one I have written on my spirit that prompts me to run to God as our Father and show Him to my children by first being a son. Legacy matters, for our faith has always been a generational and relational one, starting with our own natural families and fanning out from there.

        Thanks for your kind words of encouragement!

  3. I was thinking about this when I noticed in CRU no one retired. I mean there are some really old people working for Cru; they are in leadership, they travel like crazy, they share the gospel with anyone willing to listen, they serve God. Then I thought about it, why would you retire from being a missionary? Exactly…there’s no point because its what the Lord has called all Christians to be. So Ill probably be just like them. Old and on a cane still serving in full time missions watching people’s lives change for all eternity and most importantly giving God the glory. I want to die doing what I love and evangelism and discipleship is just that. I kicked the American dream to the curb a while back and I cant wait until I can finally move to the inner city and serve my community.

  4. Love the post!
    1. Where in Ohio are you? I’m in Dayton.
    2. A larger problem is the ‘American Dream’ that retirement is the end of. We’re told to work hard, sacrifice the best years of our lives to a company so that we can earn the right to retire and do what we want. The whole thing is very self-focused (and in service to the Empire, who just wants to use our best years for its gain).

    If instead we could recapture our lives as a Gospel calling, then what a difference we could make! We could (as Christine Caine encouraged at Catalyst) use our latter years to focus on passing the baton of faith on to the next generation, to transition from the leaders in the Church to the leaders of leaders.

    3. I also appreciate that you separated this discussion from issues of financial stewardship. That’s a helpful distinction.

    Thanks for the great post!

    1. Hey Jr, I’m in toledo and have some good friends in the Dayton area. Thanks for reading and chiming in. Did you grow up in Ohio? Please tell me you’re not a buckeye :)

      1. Ha! No my wife and I grew up in MO and moved here 3 years ago. So we’re not Buckeyes (but don’t tell my church body ;)

        I’m bummed we didn’t get to chat at Catalyst – that meetup was too packed!! Next time you’re down here, let me know and I’ll buy you lunch. Anyone Nicole says is good people must be pretty rad!

        1. Wait.. you were at the meetup? Shoot. I came in late and didn’t get to meet everyone. You’re not at the same church as Charlie are you? He has a church in Dayton and I met him at the meetup.

          Go blue :)

          P:S- what do you do in Dayton?

  5. When I “retire” I only plan on it being from the normal 40-hour a week workforce. I have no desire to just sit around and wait for things to happen.

    I plan to give more, to help send people out into the world more, to GO into the world more. I plan to take full advantage of the extra time I’ll have to better the lives of those around me for God’s glory.

  6. Sammy you wrote “the American dream with a cross around itʼs neck” That is a brilliant phrase. It’s the American work ethic polluting our Christian walk. We tend to put on our Christianity like a jacket or a job and look for opportunity to take it off and “relax.”

    Live it strong, live it long.

  7. I’ve written about this exact thing in the past. I’ll never retire. It also makes me think of how our culture views old age. We have to be one of the only cultures on earth that discards older people. Rather than seek them out for their knowledge and wisdom, we devalue them as “old-fashioned”. We can be part of a movement to put an end to retirement by seeking to honor and value the older people in our communities.

    1. Tony, I could write a book on what you just highlighted. Growing up in a NIgeria, I was shocked to come here and see how different elders were treated. Back home, the older you were, the wiser and more esteemed society viewed you. Even if you were jacked up, there was an assumption that your experience brings so much to the table.

      Now it’s like “we” are the generation to change the world and we don’t need the “older people”. How tragic right?

  8. I’m sorry but I disagree. I understand the underlining principle of striving for productivity in Christ. But we never draw a conclusion by the omission of something in the scripture, For example: There is no mention of Rapture in the bible.. but we know its implied by using “caught up”. We also know scripture does not include all the miracles Jesus performed, however historians noted more miracles not recorded. Should we say that because those were not in the bible they weren’t done?

    The scripture does not mention many things, should we conclude them to be not scriptural? Like watching football or saving in a 401k etc.. So I ask, if I served the Lord faithfully for 30 years and im 65.. My bones hurt, Im tired, I gave it my best… So I have reduced my activity, but faithfully seek to serve my God.. but in a more limited role (casual food drives, tithing, help the local church). Is this person somehow wrong? How is this not scriptural? How is enjoying the fruit of seed being sown wrong? My view is, it would be narrow-minded to conclude that one could not enjoy retirement in Hawaii and still serve God as ones life is winding down. And even thought I would agree with the idea of going out with a bang… I also agree that others Christians under different situations my be ready for a breather and a better scene. Should a Christian who saved, served, suffered (by not spending).. be worried about buying a retirement home in Hawaii because its not in the bible? I think not!

    1. Hey Carlos, thanks for reading. I appreciate the honest response Sir. Really do. Especially since you disagreed in a kind and healthy way. That’s rare and very refreshing so before I respond, I wanted to say THANKS!

      I agree with you that can’t draw a conclusion by an omission of something in scripture. Totally. My point wasn’t really that the word “retirement” is not in the bible but more so that the lifestyle and worldview I predominantly observe in the scripture is one in which men and women gave more, risked more and loved more as they neared the end.

      The basic premise I’m addressing regarding retirement is the notion that the older you get, the more entitled you are to live for you. Perhaps I didn’t communicate that very well and that’s my bad.

      To be clear, I don’t see any problem with enjoying the fruit of your labor. Actually that’s biblical and I’m doing it right now as I type this. Also i have nothing against Hawaii and if someday I can afford it, I would buy a vacation home in Hawaii. Ha ha. Also I wasn’t talking about “activity” but rather living for God’s glory and God’s people. Can you do that while retired in Hawaii? Absolutely.

      But lets be honest Carlos, when most people in our culture talk about retirement, they aren’t talking about serving God and living for his glory in Hawaii. For most (perhaps thats an unfair assumption), retirement means I check out. It’s me time. I’m going to do what I want however I want until I die. I’m going to build bigger barns for myself and enjoy it till I die.

      That worldview is what I believe is not biblical. There is never ‘it’s all about me now’ time in following Jesus. If anything, it becomes less and less about us. I’m not talking about activity but devotion to others and Gods glory.

      Yes omission is an an argument against something but in the same token, omission is not an argument FOR something.

      Again, thanks for great dialogue Carlos. Hope this makes sense.

      1. Sammy thanks for the reply. Perhaps its my inability to relate to its “me time”. I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by wise and dedicated believers in the elderly community. Under the premise you highlighted, I would agree whole heatedly. There is never “its all about me” moment in kingdom living. That would be in opposition to grace and principles delineated in the New Covenant.

  9. I hate to be the lone dissenter on this piece, but…

    This could have been a post with an encouraging and uplifting tone, but instead comes off as very judgmental and aggressive. I could see this going along the lines of being an encouragement to those in their later years to keep pursuing God’s calling on their life. But instead your words are dripping with sarcasm and judgment.

    First, I literally do not know anyone’s parents or grandparents who retired and are spending their final days in a tropical paradise. Most people I know who are retired are still trying to put their kids through school and pay off their mortgage. And many people I know can’t even afford to retire until they physically are no longer able to work anymore.

    Second, Of course there was no retirement in the Bible. Of course none of those Biblical leaders retired. Retirement wasn’t even created until the 1800s…so no, it’s not in the Bible. But just because it’s not literally spelled out in the Bible does not mean its “Not Biblical.”

    It seems like you have more of an issue with what people choose to do once they are retired than the actual act of retiring itself. But instead of being an encouragement to people who are older and maybe feel like once they are out of the workplace they have nothing to contribute, this really just sounds like a harsh and sweeping passing of judgement.

    1. Alyssa,

      Unless Sammy said, “Hey, you slacker retirees, you deserve to all die and go to Hell where you obviously belong!”, then his words are not judgment as you see them to be.

      Judgment is not the same as critique. Judgment is not the same as making a measured evaluation.

      Sammy is condemning no one to Hell. That would be judgment, and that would be a sin most foul.

      1. Unap. Prophet:

        That would be true if “its not in the bible” was not used. Unfortunately, those with a different view are left to feel that they hold to a form of heresy at worst or un-biblical practices at best.

        1. Carlos,

          Sorry, but I didn’t understand a thing you just said to me. Alyssa felt Sammy was being judgmental. I countered with saying that to be judgmental, one must pronounce judgment ala condemnation to Hell. Sammy merely made a measured observation about retirement and how he sees it fitting into, or out of, Christianity. I did not discern judgment at all.

          So your response above leaves me slightly perplexed.

      2. I really hate to be THIS person but:
        “Judgmental: Having or displaying an excessively critical point of view”

        Which is how the tone of this piece came across. And I agree with Carlos below…it takes it to a different level when it goes from “I perhaps disagree with that lifestyle choice” to “It’s not Biblical”

    2. Hey Alyssa, thanks for reading and diving in. I always appreciate honest feedback even when people disagree so thanks!

      Was this post pretty aggressive and sarcastic? Absolutely. For all it’s worth, I wrote it months and months ago and put it under the ‘maybe’ shelf for those very reasons. It was one of those rants that I wrestled whether to post or not. In fact i told Nicole I was pretty hesitant to share it especially to readers who don’t have any context to who I am and what I believe.

      Having said that, underneath the ‘in your face’ tone is a truth I stand by. You’re right in saying I wasn’t so much challenging the word “retirement” but rather the worldview that says we are entitled to now live for us. That is what I believe is not biblical.

      There is never a “now it’s all about me” season in following Jesus. We always give more, risk more and love more. I’m sure you’d agree that for most of us, myself included, underneath the pursuit of ‘retirement’ or ‘the american dream’ is a big fat “ME”.

      Could I have communicated this in a less sarcastic tone? Probably. For all it’s worth, please know that I not only respect older people but I VALUE them extremely. This one post probably doesn’t show that and I understand that. If you care, here’s a post I wrote a while back about older people…

      Thanks for challenging me Alyssa.

      1. Hi Sammy,

        I have a very healthy respect for bloggers who can handle criticism in a classy way. And even though I still disagree with your delivery (although I understand the underlying message), I appreciate the time you took to respond to me in a civil manner.

  10. I’m glad I’m not the only one not enamored by the American Dream. I want to dream Jesus dreams.

    I know that this context is fasting, but this is what I picture life should look like a a Christian. This is my retirement plan:

    Isaiah 58:6-11

    “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
    to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
    to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?
    7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
    when you see the naked, to clothe them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
    8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing will quickly appear;
    then your righteousness will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
    9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
    you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

    “If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
    with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
    10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
    and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
    then your light will rise in the darkness,
    and your night will become like the noonday.
    11 The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.
    You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like a spring whose waters never fail.

    Yeah… I reject the idea of retirement as defined by the bulk of our society.

    How did doing nothing productive become the goal we, as a society, now live for? Aside from just the biblical perspective, our nation was synonymous with hard work. Not so much anymore. Our bodies were not created for idleness. They deteriorate faster when not in use. When God designs a system, there is always a natural manifestation and a spiritual counterpart. He didn’t design our spirits to cease productivity at 65, nor did He design our bodies to cease productivity at 65. We seem have it all wonky.

    1. Hey Brina. Great word. Great insight. I’m with you. I as well reject the idea of retirement as defined by our society. The older I get, the more i want to be others focused. The more my story should decrease and his increase. It’s easy to type that out. By his grace I want to live that out.

      Thanks for swinging by Brina.

  11. Well, I do hope to retire some day, but not so that i can sit on some beach watching the waves and grumbling about the youngens and their loud music. I hope to retire from the work force (paying the bills) so that I can put my time to better use (volunteering at shelters and the like). I would be bored out of my mind without a job to do. so the big difference in my retirement would be that instead of working for money, I would be working toward a higher purpose. I know I can do that now, and I do what I can when I can, but I’m looking forward to being able to do it full time. :-)

  12. Right on Sammy, my brother. My grandfather is living breathing proof that there is no retirement in the kingdom. I’ve read through some of this stuff, and I have to say, he’s old (87), he’s tired (served as a minister for ~60 years) and his bones are creakier than anyone’s (3 open heart surgeries) I know. But that dude still goes hard for the Lord every day. He walks at a mall near his home everyday because it’s even ground to walk on (safer than walking around his hilly neighborhood) and he makes it his goal every day to share the love of Christ with someone he comes into contact with. I’m so encouraged my his heart for evangelism even in his old age. His heart breaks for the lost; I know a lot of people say that in your 20’s/in college is when you’re most apt to be zealous in your faith, but my grandfather’s testimony has shown me that if you continue to pursue the Lord, your most zealous days are ahead of you.

    1. Kevin, this is amazing. Your grandpa is a hero and I wish I could have lunch with someone like him and just listen for hours. Incredible. Please hug him for us all next time you see him. So inspiring.

  13. Sammy, I see your point and agree with you, but I think your reasoning is flimsy. I think we need to dig deeper than simply saying, “‘retirement’ is not in the Bible.” As another commenter, Carlos, has said, there are a lot of things that aren’t in the Bible, but that doesn’t necessarily denote sin.

    Retirement is not inherently wrong; I know people who have retired from careers as bankers, factory workers, state employees, nurses, doctors, etc. and they use their free time to go into ministry full time, to volunteer more freely at their local church and in their community, to give more of themselves. My grandmother worked in a factory for 30 years, and although I don’t always agree with her lifestyle choices in retirement, she has used her free time and her meager resources to work in our church, in local organizations for women in need, and to minister to other people one-on-one in her community. She never would have been able to do that when she was working full time. As with all opportunities and privileges, retirement can be a wonderful and God-honoring choice, it just depends on how we steward it.

    So I think retirement isn’t really the heart of what you’re trying to address; retirement is merely a facet of the deeper issue, which is the attitude of entitlement that has infiltrated American culture. We feel we’re entitled to social security benefits, to medicare, to retirement, to putting in 30+ years of work and then having everyone else in the system work for us so we can sit in front of our televisions all day. At least, as far as sweeping generalizations are concerned.

    The problem with retirement and the entitlement we’re wrestling with is that it places the “wrong emphasis on the wrong syllable,” or rather, it places the emphasis on working to be rewarded, rather than working for God’s glory and for the character that it builds in us. Too many people choose jobs for the 401k and personal benefits they get out of them, when they should choose to do something because it honors God and utilizes the skills and talents He has given them.

    This is why it bothers me so deeply when people question artists and their ability to “provide” for themselves and their family financially. Yes, paying our bills, saving for retirement and providing for our families is a good thing, a necessary thing, and an important part of stewarding our lives well. But when we make financial stability *THE Reason* we do anything, or *THE Reason* we choose not to use our gifts and passions, then we’ve made it our god. The problem with our attitudes toward retirement is that we’ve made it the penultimate goal, we’ve made it our god, our reason for working and living. The bottom line is that retirement, the American Dream, is a form idolatry.

    1. Bethany, great stuff. Read your comment twice. I think we are saying the same thing but you simply said it better than I did. Haha.

      But yea, thanks again Bethany. This was really good.

  14. Amen sammy. My hubbs and i totally agree, when it comes to serving God, there is NO retirement until we get to heaven, then its all out paradise-worshipping in His Presence–even then, at rest, we will still be serving Him!!

    And a word to the older Generation from the younger (age 22 here) We NEED you! SO bad. We need your wisdom, your guidance, your experience, and your voice in our lives! Older men, teach the younger men how to be a man. Older woman, teach us young ladies what a woman of God should be! PLEASE dont retire from serving, you are so desperately needed in the church!

    1. Yes! Yes! Yes Julia. What a great plea. In my earlier very ignorant years, I used to think my generation didn’t need anyone. I was so misguided. We cannot be who God is calling us to be without the generation ahead of us. We need you.

      Great stuff Julia. Great, great stuff.

  15. “Also, all things you canʼt have while collecting shells in the Bahamas.” Pick shells by day, preach the gospel by night, sounds very possible to me!
    I don’t know that I agree with this, I think there is a Biblical tone to enjoying the fruit of your labor, and I don’t think that having a fun time in your old age (or at any time in life) means that you’re throwing in the towel, and becoming boring or uninspiring.
    Good read though, definitely agree that we’re not let off the hook just because we get old.

  16. I had the privilege of ministering to children for 35 years, receiving a salary as a public school teacher. Since my retirement 2 years ago God has given me the opportunity to continue serving Him through volunteering with children, adults in recovery groups, Bible studies encouragement ministries both within and outside our church. I don’t get paid for this, but I receive SO much more than $$ can buy! Never thought God would ask me to work with adults, but when we just say “yes” to His plans for our retirement, it is a glorious time!!

  17. Whew, Sammy!! You’ve rocked my socks with this one, my brother. AMEN and amen. I love this perspective because the idea of retirement has not ever sat well with me…and that’s because it was never intended. Thank you for this reminder.

  18. I just found myself with an old school shout upon my lips and hands raised reading this post. Cheers, Cheers….and Amen! My husband and I gave up on the american dream a while back. Frankly it almost killed the oneness of us, our covenant. We too desire and plan to go out in a blaze of glory. I pray we live this life well sowing into the life of others speaking gospel truth.

  19. I recently heard Richard Rohr say something like, “We (the church, America, American church) are very good at making elderly people, but not so good at producing elders.” I couldn’t agree more, I aspire to being an elder if God so graces me to be so.

    I just feel like we need to take a humble tone with that, however, as younger people. It makes me cringe a bit when a younger person presumes to know what an older person “should” do, or even what they think THEY will do themselves when they are getting up there in years. We really have no idea…we’ve never been old (yet!). So, when dealing with this subject we need to be totally humble. When we get to that age, we very well may NOT have the physical strength or stamina to keep up with the pace you are describing. So, “work for the kingdom” may look very different….it may be that I am sitting in a rocking chair in the corner of the room, and my grandchild can come over and sit on my lap and I can be a peaceful and wise presence for them. It may be that I am spending much time in prayer.

    But I think we essentially agree….that even if our lives diminish in strength and scope, our heart for the Lord and for the Kingdom (not hedonism) grows ever more brightly. And that will translate outward, into the world, if even on a smaller scale.

  20. Sammy, I agree with you that we should not become self indulgent as we grow older. There is nothing in life that we are entitled to and we should be grateful for everything. I would like to suggest a compassionate way of looking at the self indulgent attitude you have encountered. I see it as an attempt to reclaim what was taken away. In America we have a system that enslaves us to unfulfilling employment. Most retirees that are self indulgent are trying to reclaim the freedom, the hobbies that bring them joy in life, time with friends and family, and learning opportunities that were robbed from them by enslavement to debt and a shame of not measuring up with the Joneses. Unfortunately, even in retirement there are still chains of shame. In spite of this, I have witnessed family and others do many constructive, helpful, and caring things in their ‘retirement’.

    Even if we make the most of our retirements our bodies still wear out and we are eventually reduced to the state where most of our time is spent taking care of our bodies. Of course we can approach this time of life cheerfully with encouragement for those who care for us and thus lighten the load for those who do the work of caring for us, but caring for a dying body is a burden none the less. It may be that God in his wisdom teaches the younger generation who care for old persons patience, endurance, and other spiritual lessons that they would not otherwise have if they did not care for the elderly. But I wonder if when Jesus called us to pick up our crosses if he didn’t mean that literally, for every person. What if, after living a life of sacrifice, service, and love, we put our bodies on the line as well? What if groups of geriatric persons stood in the way of tanks, or nuclear weapons, or gang wars, or pirates, or terrorists, or slave traders, or the mafia, or drug lords,…when you’re at the end of a body’s usefulness what do you have left to lose? Imagine what could be gained by persons willing to lose their lives for righteousness? How would it look in the media if gangsters gunned down a bunch of grandmas and grandpas trying to keep their neighborhood safe? Which prime minister is going to have a politically correct explanation for why a group of wrinkled, white haired persons with canes, walkers, and oxygen tanks are bulldozed over in order to knock down a Palestinian house? I can see all kinds of possibilities for how Christians can bring the kingdom of God to earth through their deaths.

  21. agreed! love the line about going down in a blaze of glory. My mother-in-law, beautiful soul that she is, is spending her retirement from teaching high school students leading Bible studies, and helping out neighbors, helping us take care of our kiddos, going to Zumba and praying dilligently…essentially she’s loving herself well and serving others faithfully. I love absolutely love it and thankful you made the delineation between the idea of retirement and savin’ up for old age. =) great post!

    1. Grace,
      You said your mother in law is “loving herself well and serving other faithfully.” That! That is it. It is still being able to enjoy and discover the things that inspire us and still serve and participate in the Kingdom. That’s my hope! Thank you sharing.

  22. The gem I’d like to add here is from the founding pastor, John Stocker, of my church back in Colorado, Resurrection Fellowship (a Spirit-filled, prophetic, teaching, amazing church), “People tell me that the word ‘retirement’ is not in the Bible, but neither is the word ‘fart,’ and people do that all the time.”

    He retired the following week, but is still a minister. He leads yearly trips to Israel. I imagine he rests more, too.

    I see nothing wrong with retirement in a sense of freeing up time to pursue other God-ordained pursuits.

  23. Scripture doesn’t say anything about retirement aside from the Levites retiring from temple worship at the age of 50.

    Scripture doesn’t condemn retirement, and at the same time doesn’t encourage it, either.

    We can’t Biblically say that retirement is a sin.

    “Nothing beyond what is written.”

    In Christ,


    1. Cook,
      I understand your argument, but by your own logic–“Nothing beyond what is written,” is referring more directly to what Paul discusses just a few verses earlier:

      “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.” 1Corinthians 4:1-5

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