February 29, 2024

How Can I Remain Fruitful in My Old Age or in My Retirement?

Nathan W. Bingham & W. Robert Godfrey
How Can I Remain Fruitful in My Old Age or in My Retirement?

Retirement affords many people extra time in their daily schedules. Today, W. Robert Godfrey offers suggestions to help older Christians use their gifts to serve the Lord faithfully through their retirement years.


NATHAN W. BINGHAM: Joining us this week on the Ask Ligonier podcast is Ligonier’s chairman, one of our teaching fellows, Dr. W. Robert Godfrey, and we’re recording live from Ligonier’s Ontario Conference. Dr. Godfrey, how can a more senior Christian remain fruitful in their old age, particularly in retirement?

DR. W. ROBERT GODFREY: Well, I think every faithful Christian wants to use what energy they have to serve the Lord and to advance the cause of His kingdom. As you get older, you may lose some energy, but you may gain some time. And so, I think it’s important to try to think carefully and make plans.

When I was thinking about retirement, a dear friend who was somewhat older and had already retired, said to me: “You must be sure not to just retire from something. You have to retire to something.” And retirement doesn’t mean sitting around doing nothing. It actually turns out it’s impossible to sit around and do nothing. You have to do something. And so, I think the crucial thing becomes to do some planning. Ask: What are your interests? What are your gifts? What are your abilities? What is your time?

I know a wonderful woman physician who, in retirement, went regularly to Africa as long as she could to do medical missionary work. That was something she had the energy to do, and she did. So yeah, I think you have to look at your particular circumstances and ask yourself, “What could I do for the Lord?” Some of us are teachers, and we can do that for the Lord. Some of us are carpenters. And I’ve known people who’ve gone to do relief work after hurricanes or other natural disasters, and they’ve borne a wonderful witness for the Lord in their concern to help people out of physical distress.

So, I think the crucial thing is to connect with other people. At least there’s a strain in my family that’s kind of becoming reclusive, and I have to overcome that. The only exercise I’d say that I get is sitting in a chair and exercising my hand turning pages. But I have to convince myself, “You’ve got to get up and do podcasts and other socially useful works.” But I would say that planning, that doing a self-inventory, connecting with other people, and finding ways to do things in community is really important.