I want to take you to where Jesus advises us on retirement planning. Before you get your bible app or bible open to Luke 12 ask yourself what the word retirement means? Or as Dave Saviola puts it, why are you saving in your 401k?
Money is such an important topic in the Bible that it is the main subject of nearly half of the parables Jesus told. The Bible offers 500 verses on prayer, fewer than 500 verses on faith, and more than 2,000 verses on money.
Ok, so the Bible is full of verses about money. This begs the question “why?”
Because I believe there is a fundamental connection between our spiritual lives and how we think about and handle money.
Before you get the wrong impression, saving for the future is needed. It’s also backed by a Proverb. “A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.” Proverbs 13:22. But before one can do the discipline it takes to store up for our children’s children we must first consider training ourself and our children, nieces, nephew, loved one, etc. Proverbs 22:6 suggest to us, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” What are you training and in result training your children?
Does inheritance include other areas outside of money? Absolutely. But today we’re talking about money.
So Luke 12:16-21 the rich man in Jesus’ story died before he could begin to use what was stored in his big barns. Planning for retirement, preparing for life before death is wise, but neglecting life after death is disastrous. Verse 19, “And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” But GOD said to him, “You fool!” And verse 21, “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.” God never says in these verses that the stuff itself we accumulate is foolish but instead what is our attitude in wanting to procure our stuff? If the attitude is just to build up wealth and stuff to take life easy and drift off into death then we are being foolish. Or are we hustling and working for the Lord in hopes to use the tool called money to impact others and to hopefully one day have our next generation trained up to pass on the paton so they can use the fruits of our labors to work for HIM?
Are we balancing out giving, saving and living or are we out of balance while we accumulate more stuff?
I challenge you to include in your thoughts and prayers to seek guidance on how to best manage the income and assets you’ve been trusted to manage. And to consider your wealth you have been trusted to manage for life after death. Retirement money is not all about YOU. But also for others you have trained up to be used to impact the Kingdom.