Working life and retirement is something that affects us all. We might be young achievers just getting started in our career. Or we could be more mature and right in the middle of it. Others are nearing the end of their working life and planning retirement now.
Alex Cook from Wealth With Purpose believes that there is a clear message in Scripture about what God wants us to accomplish in our work, and it’s not all about money.
Designed for Work
God designed us to work. We see in Genesis that God created the world in six days. But on the seventh day, He rested. The Bible uses that word work very intentionally.
We were built to work, and that is a good thing. But work is about purpose.
“We need to get up every day on purpose with an intent to achieve something,” says Alex. “As believers we want to accomplish something for God’s kingdom. We were designed to work.”
Alex warns that the concept of retirement has crept in and become very much an idea that society values. It’s pitched as a kind of Nirvana where you work hard and then all of a sudden you get to retire, travel and have a good time.
Work on Purpose
“But the Bible itself is very silent on this issue of retirement,” Alex says. “But it’s not purely a biblical issue either. There are also some practical issues. When you’re going to work, you’re going to work on purpose. See yourself wherever God puts you.
Whether you’re a teacher or a plumber, you do that work with an intention to build God’s kingdom.”
Retirement on Purpose
There are practical issues in terms of retirement too. For many of us, at some point our bodies become physically unable to work. The reality is eventually we will cease work from paid employment.
As Christians, we need to prepare financially. But we should discard the world’s view of retirement. Ask yourself instead how you can use that time wisely to run your race for Jesus.
How can we build His kingdom when we enter that phase of life (retirement)?
Proverbs says, a sensible man prepares for problems ahead and prepares to meet them. The simpleton never looks and suffers the consequences. None of us knew there was a pandemic coming, but the question remains, how do we prepare? No matter what stage of life we are at, we have to have financial reserves in place.
Alex also advises Christians to avoid falling into the world’s trap of debt. “We want to minimize our debts so that when tough times come, we can walk away and not be enslaved,” he says. “It’s important to still meet our obligations.
The other thing we need to do is form very strong Christian communities. We’re heading into a season where we’re are going to need each other a lot more. We’re going to need to break down all our sorts of denominational barriers.”
Alex believes our focus needs to be on helping each other through tough periods. If you know someone who’s lost a job, can you help them through this season? What can you do to provide for them? We need to realize that we are in the end times, and we need to be there to help each other through this season.
In Revelation it tells us that when the mark of the beast comes in the end times, you won’t be able to transact without it. “So you can see with digital currencies how that all becomes possible in ways that we never would have thought of 50 years ago,” says Alex. “But I take the view that through whatever happens, God will provide for His people.”
“We need to live generously, trust God in His provision and focus on running our race to the very end. Share the good news with as many people as you can, and use your time and money wisely.”
“When you get to heaven you just want to hear the words ‘well done good and faithful servant’.”
Reflect & Respond
- How have you been living your work or retirement life purposefully? What steps can you take to make them purposeful?
- Have you planned for your retirement? If you have not, what steps can you take to plan for it?
- Are you in a community? Who around you can you help or receive help from in tough times?
To listen to the rest of the Vision Media podcast with Alex Cook, click below.