Finish Well

Well I’m too young (by 3 years) to be a boomer thinking about retirement. But even so, I decided a long time ago that I would not plan to “retire”. I see some retired people literally spending the last 25 or 30 years of their lives watching tv and eating out, or traveling the world only for fun. The thought of wasting time like that scares me. I have no idea what God will have me do when I am done with my current assignment: raising my children. But my hope as I get old in the future, is to be useful and so finish well. Here’s excerpts from a talk by John Piper.

Psalm 71:18
So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.

Getting old to the glory of God means getting old in a way that makes God look glorious. It means living and dying in a way that shows God to be the all-satisfying Treasure that he is. So it would include, for example, not living in ways that makes this world look like your treasure. Which means that most of the suggestions that this world offers us for our retirement years are bad ideas. They call us to live in a way that would make this world look like our treasure.

Getting old to the glory of God means resolutely resisting the typical American dream of retirement. It means being so satisfied with all that God promises to be for us in Christ that we are set free from the cravings that create so much emptiness and uselessness in retirement. Instead, knowing that we have an infinitely satisfying and everlasting inheritance in God just over the horizon of life makes us zealous in our few remaining years here to spend ourselves in the sacrifices of love, not the accumulation of comforts.

Millions of Christian men and women are finishing their formal careers in their fifties and sixties, and for most of them there will be a good twenty years before their physical and mental powers fail. What will it mean to live those final years for the glory of God? How will we live them in such a way as to show that Christ is our highest Treasure?

Live dangerously for the one who loved you and died for you at age 33. Don’t throw your life away on the American dream of retirement.

Article: Getting Old for the glory of God

Ministry Resource: Finishers Project

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