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.