Is Retirement a “God” Idea?


Is retirement a “God” idea? I think the answer may surprise you.

For most people, retirement paints a picture of escaping from struggle and exhaustion into a life of comfort. For a long time, this thinking made sense to me. I worked 100-hour weeks for years. I didn’t spend a lot of time with my kids, and I was struggling and exhausted.

This kind of lifestyle can be summed up in five words: toil, monotony, limitation, disconnection, and struggle. For those trapped in this lifestyle, the idea of retirement sounds amazing.

God is all about saving us from that kind of lifestyle because it is not what He created for us; those five words are actually a description of the curse in the garden.

In Genesis 3, Adam messed up bad. When he ate from the tree, he disobeyed God, and it created a curse in the earth. He and his descendants would now have to toil in order to eat, and they’d work by the sweat of their brows. The curse is effective and still operates in the earth to this day.

Labor and Profit

But there is another verse that also affects us. Proverbs 14:23 says, “In all labor there is profit.” In other words, whatever we put our hands to, whatever gets our emotions, our thoughts, and our words—whatever we work toward will surely bring increase.

If we’re fomenting ideas, looking at things we shouldn’t look at, or putting our hands to things that aren’t good for us, these things will get bigger. “In all labor there is profit,” even if we’re laboring toward something we don’t actually want. But if we’re laboring toward a vision, a passion, something that matters, we will see profit there, too.

If you’re a young person, a millennial just trying to figure out your life, may you be filled with courage. Continue to work at what you want. If it’s a career, if it’s a vision and a dream, work at it, because one day it will render profit.

If you’re in or approaching your middle years, you’ve probably got family needs and demands, and you’re working hard. Maybe your marriage is struggling and it’s tough. I speak faith to you. Continue to work at your marriage, your home, and your life, because all labor leads to profit. Don’t be discouraged.

If you’re beyond middle age, I speak courage to you, too. Don’t “retire” in terms of stepping out of your life. Instead, work at your purpose and dreams. What’s the reason God put you on this planet? Go for it.

No matter our age, Proverbs 14:23 applies to us. Whatever we put our hands to will increase, so we get to act accordingly.

What the Gospel Means

So is retirement a divine idea? Yes, if it means escaping from toil, monotony, limitation, disconnection, and struggle. But I would say no if it means isolation and becoming irrelevant.

The gospel of Christ is five words that bring life: rest, create, venture, connect, and enjoy. Doesn’t that sound like the ideal retirement? God didn’t design us to arc out of difficulty into idleness but to arc from death into life. We work hard and we rest. We create, invent, and venture into new places; we connect with our families and get to enjoy life. That is our calling.

If you’re interested, I go into greater detail about this topic in Prosperous Soul: Volume 3.

May your life, business, and family be greatly blessed.

Lauren Stinton