Much of our adult life is spent working hard to earn enough money to be able to support ourselves and our families. However, as you reach a certain age, most offices will likely tell you that it is company policy that you need to retire, which would mean that you would no longer be receiving your monthly or weekly salary.
Therefore, as a retired individual, you may feel like you have suddenly become strapped for cash, and if you are a God-fearing Christian, you may wonder whether you should be saving for retirement beforehand. Additionally, if we are to answer these questions, we must also first understand what the Bible says about the concept of retirement.
Is Retirement Spoken About in the Bible?
Before even thinking about saving money, you may be wondering what the Bible’s position is on retirement. God put us on this earth to work hard and spread His news and mission to the world, so how then does retirement fit into His whole grand plan?
If you look at it technically, there is no actual mention of the word “retirement” in the Bible. This is mostly because the concept of retirement is a relatively new term and didn’t exist before modern times. Though there may be no direct Bible verse for retirement, you can find a similar concept mentioned in the Book of Numbers, chapter 8, verses 23-26.
It is here that the Lord tells Moses that the Levites older than 25 years must take part in all the duties concerning the Tent of the Meeting. However, when they are to reach 50, they must stop working. Additionally, it goes on to say that those over 50 can assist the younger Levites in their duty, but they do the work.
What Do We Learn From This?
In essence, the scripture for retirement tells us that after reaching a certain age, we should stop with the physical work we were once doing. However, it does not mean that we should sit idle but rather find new ways to assist others that are within our physical capacities.
In a way, we can understand this as retirement not halting our working abilities but rather a shift in the jobs we should be doing.
Does Saving Money Take Me Away From My Faith?
One of the many important things that Jesus said to His followers was to leave all earthly possessions and follow Him. This can, therefore, make the concept of saving confusing as it would mean that we are concentrating more on holding onto worldly possessions rather than following our faith.
However, it is also imperative that we realize that God put us on this earth with numerous capabilities and strong work ethics. He gave us the power to be able to support ourselves and our loved ones, so we shouldn’t just abandon logic and financial reasoning. Even from a biblical perspective, we should remember that God also emphasizes helping those who help themselves.
Thinking about saving for retirement as a Christian therefore, brings up another question: How do we save without seeming too greedy and therefore, prepare for a future while also understanding that God ultimately has all the control?
How Should We Save Our Money?
We should begin by first reconsidering how and what we spend our money on. Then we should consciously begin spending money in ways that show our commitment to the Lord. But what does this mean exactly?
It means that we should no longer spend frivolously, rather each expense should carefully be thought about and meticulously evaluated. We should not be spending on trivial activities or items. Instead, we should think about whether said activity helps us move forward as followers of Christ and therefore, helps us spread the mission of the Bible.
This isn’t to say that we should not live a life where we are happy and comfortable, but rather not waste expenses on things that may be excessive. If we have extra money lying around after all our expenses are being paid for, we should think to ourselves whether there is a way this amount can help us act more Christian-like. Ultimately, we should remember that God doesn’t care how much we make but rather how we spend it.
So Should We Be Saving for Retirement?
Yes, our Christian thoughts on retirement should be positive. Although the Bible and its teachings tell us that Christ will come again, we should also consciously be prepared to live a life of waiting. This is because we do not know when Jesus will come again and we should be well and ready for when that will happen.
Having additional money also means that we can help others, but one of the greatest things we can do for our friends and family is to be financially independent even when we are no longer allowed to work. Therefore, by saving for retirement, we can ensure that not only are our lives comfortable, but our families too, as they would be free of worry about any additional financial or mental burden.
Additionally, saving for retirement does not mean that we cannot continue to help others. When dividing your salary, you can take out a certain percentage for retirement and another percentage for charitable works. The amounts may vary depending on how your salary shifts but you can make it a point to keep the percentages the same. In the end, we need to remember that saving for retirement is a necessity and therefore, it is not a frivolous expense but rather a quite important one.
How Should You Be Saving for Retirement as a Christian?
Ultimately, the decision of dividing your finances is between you and God. You should think wisely of the things you intend to invest in. Of course, no one expects you to be a financial expert, but there are several professionals you can consult with who can help make the best choices for you.
Additionally, you may also look into hiring licensed professionals who follow your belief so they can understand how and where to save or invest your cash. If you are still confused, an easy thing to remember is that when saving for retirement, you should be investing in places that show minimal risks, and you should also spread your investments in case some don’t pan out.
Frivolous activities such as spending your money at casinos or on lottery tickets are not ideal as these are high-risk and essentially benefit no one.
Wanting to live your life in the way the Bible teaches is easy if you remember that it basically asks you to live, save, and give to others. You should want to put God first, be diligent about saving for the future and be content with living within your means.
Saving for retirement as a Christian should be done with pride. It is not something everyone can do. You should give thanks to God for bestowing on you such abundant blessings that allow you to not only support yourself in the present but also prepare for a comfortable future.