In this article, Bruce Bruinsma counsels us to a change of mindset to help us clearly see and understand God’s perspective on retirement. It is often faced with uncertainty, anxiety and fear as we age through the years. But God has great plans and it involves every single year of our lives.
A “Retirement Reformation” has begun as Christians around the world embrace a new view, God’s perspective, for life after sixty (a.k.a. Q4, the 4th quarter, Life 3, purposeful retirement).
Hebrews 10:23-25 is a key text for this growing movement.
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
A rightful change of mindset
Changing the way Christ-followers view the last thirty years of life has the potential to inject the world with new energy through kingdom-minded workers who contribute significantly.
The world has created a stereotype in our minds and we have few models of what a Christian life might look and feel like during these important years. Having a new outlook on aging requires an attitude adjustment, especially with life expectancies increasing.
As Christians, we believe that what happens in the next life will be eternally joyous. At the same time, we act as if the time leading up to the joyful transition contains only extended periods of illness, loneliness, and frustration — little true meaning and even less joy. Nothing could be further from the truth of God’s desire for us.
Time is our greatest ally
Retirement is not a time to stop, although it often includes a time of pausing.
See how our view of time must change?
All transitions in our lives have components of stopping, moving on, leaving, and change. Change is a reality. Carrying out God’s plan for your life to the very end, being faithful through the duration of your lifetime, demands change at every stage. There is a greater purpose for your life than what the worldly narrative suggests!
Join the spiritual and emotional movement
Five elements come together to shape the mindset of the Retirement Reformation movement. Each element interacts with the others. As they come together, a “new you” emerges. Identify that:
1. Cognitive powers will deteriorate.
2. Physical capacities will diminish.
Unfortunately, this is where our cultural description of seniors pauses, or often it just stops. Dreams die. Life is viewed as “less than” life, increasingly irrelevant, and progressively more bothersome. In our churches, the unspoken admonition to seniors is twofold: Don’t be grumpy, and for sure, do not stop giving!
But here’s the good news. The next two elements offset the first two somewhat dispiriting ones.
3. Spiritual walk with Jesus can grow exponentially, and our spiritual maturity can reach amazing new heights if we will change our thinking. It won’t if we turn away.
4. Emotional growth in emotional maturity, empathy, and the ability to deal with all kinds of difficult situations can expand in concert with our spiritual growth.
That’s good news, and possible if we listen, absorb, and apply life’s lessons learned and live in light of what the Bible teaches. God will make His purpose for our lives clear, but listening is critical. So, what is the function of money on this journey? It’s a vital part.
5. Financial stewardship provides a stable platform for the other issues of life to play out. Money serves as a resource for ministry. With clear communication between spouses, opportunities to make a difference for God’s kingdom accelerate.
God’s perspective on retirement is life through Christ
A Retirement Reformation is coming. Finding new ways to understand the implications of longer life expectancies is a mandate for our times. Furthermore, discerning how these five elements interact in each of our lives is the first step to mapping a purposeful plan, which can expand the resources — human and financial — available for building God’s kingdom for His glory.
This is the heart of the Retirement Reformation: living through Christ and representing Him to the world in all we do and say, to the very end. We can be faithful for a lifetime. We can change the world together. Do you hear His call?
This article was first published by ChristianSuper.
To read more articles about retirement, click here.
Author Bio: Bruce Bruinsma has helped faith-based ministries, their employees and staff, with saving strategies and Kingdom building activities for over thirty years. He is the Founder and CEO of Envoy Financial, a Colorado Springs-based ministry providing specialized retirement plans for ministries across the United States of America.
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