Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Don't waste your retirement

The present financial crisis is causing anguish for a lot of people. I was talking to a friend this weekend who's legitimately concerned about losing the modest investment income he needs to support his family of four. Having said that, it occurred to me while listening to the alarming reports on NPR this morning that God may use this situation to wean American Christians away from extra-Biblical ideas about financial security, investment and retirement. I'm preaching to myself here too. What do I mean? I'll let John Piper explain.

Consider a story from the February 1998 edition of Reader’s Digest, which tells about a couple who “took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida, where they cruise on their 30 foot trawler, play softball and collect shells.” At first, when I read it I thought it might be a joke. A spoof on the American Dream. But it wasn’t. Tragically, this was the dream: Come to the end of your life—your one and only precious, God-given life—and let the last great work of your life, before you give an account to your Creator, be this: playing softball and collecting shells. Picture them before Christ at the great day of judgment: “Look, Lord. See my shells.” That is a tragedy. And people today are spending billions of dollars to persuade you to embrace that tragic dream. Over against that, I put my protest: Don’t buy it. Don’t waste your life.

John Piper, Don't Waste Your Life

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