November 08, 2014

Witness in Work and Retirement

Colossians 3:22-24

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters …
—Colossians 3:23


As we grow older, physical limitations and health struggles can limit our working ambitions. Still, many of us are willing and able to work into our sixties or seventies—or even beyond. We may find we have to keep working to pay bills and put food on the table, but we many also want to keep earning money so we can be generous to others.

The Bible gives no specific age for retirement—it doesn’t even mention the concept. The apostle Paul envisions a life of service to God: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.”

In the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) God says, “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day … you shall not do any work… [For God] rested on the seventh day.”

Perhaps the biblical principle of rest can help us live wisely into retirement. In the Bible, rest from labor gives us time to worship and praise God, learn from his Word, do good for others, and develop the gifts we have been given—all to God’s glory. When we grow older, our blessing and witness may diminish in the workplace, but it can grow among family, friends, church, and the larger communities in which we live.

No matter what stage of life you are in, how can you be a blessing today by working and serving with all your heart?

Lord, we praise you for the talents we have and the provisions you give. Thank you for work and for days off. Show us how we can be a blessing to others today. Amen.

About the author — Daryl DeKlerk

Daryl DeKlerk pastors a church in Jarvis, Ontario. He is thankful for a sabbatical that enabled him to study the theme of Grace-filled Christian Witness. Daryl and his wife have three young children who keep them on their toes and on their knees in prayer.

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