Should Christians Save for Retirement?

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There comes a point in your life when your body tells you that it is time to stop working.  But how will you still be able to pay your bills?  Eat? Purchase your medicine?

Ask Pastor John Piper

Well all of our money is God’s money and that profound reality raises all sorts of questions about stewardship like this question from a podcast listener named Colin who finds himself in a tricky spot as he considers a career in financial counseling Pastor John, what would you say to a young man or a young woman who is interested in pursuing a career as a financial advisor should a Christian serve others by helping them plan financially for retirement or do you think this is promoting an ungodly waste of retirement?

I want to help others Steward their money for Christ’s sake but our societies warped perspective on retirement makes me think twice about entering this profession can a Christian serve others and help them plan for retirement. Even the very typical American retirement with a clear conscience is financial planning a worthy Christian vocation.

If I didn’t believe that financial planning was a worthy Christian vocation.

I would not have spoken to the annual Gathering of the Kingdom advisors. That’s their name Kingdom advisor said that the conference anyway, the kingdom advisors a few weeks ago.

In fact, if Colin isn’t familiar with the Ron Blue Institute its sponsors that event encouraging Christian financial planning for the last 30 years or so.

I’d encourage him in others to check it out the wrong blue Institute.

He’s been giving his life to this for decades. In fact, I sat beside him at a dinner just before I spoke and I asked him can you put in one sentence what you’ve been about for 30 years. He didn’t even hesitate.

He said God owns it all that’s it.

In other words, it’s not yours.

Your money is not yours…period which puts you in a very very precarious position.

It’s God’s and you got it in your bike and your pocket watch out.

You might become a thief and or a Miss manager.

God has given you the ability to obtain it to be sure. That’s why we make mistakes and think it’s ours and he’s calling you to be a steward a manager of it not an owner and for his purpose is not your own private purposes money is currency right meaning it’s a culturally accepted medium of exchange for what you value you don’t want paper and he won’t go to that can’t eat it. You can’t eat the metal in your pocket called coins.

You can eat to bite on the internet on the internet. That’s supposedly what you got in the bank. I hope it’s there. Anyway, everything is done by online banking. Now, it’s of what is money. Anyway, just it’s just paper. It’s metal.

It’s internet bites, but how you move it around what you traded for signifies what you value and therefore money becomes a means of worship and witness and love or selfishness so we can put out of our minds any thoughts that money intrinsically is evil.

It is intrinsically dangerous because Jesus said it’s hard for the rich to get into the Kingdom of Heaven money exerts a tremendous power to try to enslave us to this world.

But if we are born again with new values, New preferences new things that we cherish and treasure if were born again money can become an instrument with which we show how we value God more than money and do much good for people in relation to God becoming a financial planner should mean I think for Christian that you have seen these things in the Bible and you want to help other people see them and act on them, but you really need convictional Clarity if you’re going to do this because you will get a lot of blowbacks you say Colin our societies warped perspective on retirement makes me think twice about entering this profession. Well good.

I’m glad you think twice. I hope that you think a hundred times about it and that with every thought you turn to your Bible for wisdom and guidance and I would suggest you think of it this way. The very fact that there is a warped perspective on retirement even among Christians is a reason to become a financial planner a Christian Bible set you rated financial planner rather than a reason not to become one unless you don’t have any conviction or backbone people need help rich people to need help. They look powerful. They need help. They need to be shaken loose from the assumptions of our culture and you can be a great help in that regard. If you have the courage to speak to very wealthy people about what they should do with their money and you need to settle it early.

You won’t be a typical financial planner who simply finds out the goals of his client and then helps him make that happen.

You will want to shape those goals. If that’s not what you want to do. Then you will be a Christian financial planner just be a jellyfish in the Of culture.

If you don’t have the courage to do this with very powerful people then don’t go into this field.

You want to be a dolphin not a jellyfish.

When you talking to the rich, I think a Christian financial planner should try to help people cast a vision for what retirement can be from a Christian view of the world and life.

There is no such thing as Retirement from Ministry in the Bible and everybody was a Christian is a minister that is serving people’s needs by whatever gifts you have.

You may stop doing one paid vocation our culture calls that retirement not a good word, but you never Retire from active service in a world like ours that is so broken.

So needy.

This is read the story of George Mueller yesterday who’d been pouring his life out for the needy for Orphans in particular for about 30 years know about 50 years. So he turned 70 and for the next 20 years, he did what he wanted to do. He traveled 49 nations of the world preaching the gospel and then he turned 95 came home and took up the pastorate again.

No, I think at 90 and then he died at 95 what a crazy wonderful beautiful counter-cultural vision of so-called retirement. So, Colin, when you close by asking Can a Christian serve others and help them plan for retirement even a very typical American retirement with a clear conscience? My answer is no.

No.

No, your aim is not to counsel a typical American retirement you want people to break free from that you will encourage people not to prioritize playing and Leisure.

But to prioritize serving and Ministry you will become a specialist and I could use your help many could a specialist in helping people know ways to use their money wisely to maximize that kind of active Ministry oriented end-of-life season.

You had me going there for a moment talking about the internet by so I thought you were about to drop a Bitcoin mention and cryptocurrency.

I don’t even know enough about that to talk about it, right?

Okay, I figured not thank you Pastor John and thanks for listening to us today. We appreciate all of you that listen along each week. This is our 13th episode now on money and you can find all of those past episodes on money on our podcast archive at Desiring God dot org /s Pastor John there you can explore all of our now 1,200 past episodes. You can scan through a list of our most popular episodes and read full transcripts even send. Question of your own there. That’s a Desiring God dot-org forward-slash Ask Pastor John and of course to get new episodes delivered you three times per week subscribe to ask Pastor John in your favorite podcast player.

Well, what counsel do we have for Christians who live under a Perpetual fear of death and I’m not talking about those with a terminal illness but Christians who struggle with this fear on a daily basis.

The struggle is real for many Christians out there. We get a lot of emails from you and that’s up next on the podcast. I’m your host Tony Reiki and on behalf of John Piper will see you on Wednesday.

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