Cathy’s message wasn’t about cookies, desserts, or any physical thing. It was based on Paul telling the church of Corinth that with God and other members of Christ’s body, they had everything they needed. In Paul’s words, they “lacked nothing.”
After working a combination of full and part time jobs between us for many years, including being responsible for something almost every weekend and many nights, Cathy and I have decided to work less this year. I have started looking at information on retirement.
There are many things to consider when someone makes the transition, but do you know what is by far the #1 question asked for people considering retirement?
It is not “What do you want to do?”, "Who do you want to spend time with?”, “Where would you want to live?”, or “Who do you want to be?” It is, “Do you have enough money?”
Of course, money matters! According to many financial advisors I don’t have enough money. However, I have more than the average American. Many people don’t have any money saved for retirement. According to global statistics, I am rich compared to most people in this world!
How much money is enough? That is a question that applies to more than retirement!
Jesus talked a lot about money and material possessions. He knows money is important. But money is amoral. Money itself isn’t either good or bad. Money is just a tool. It is how we think about money and how we use it that matters. Money may be the #1 thing people think about as they get ready to retire, but there are many things more important than money.
I imagine things Jesus might say to me as I think about whether to retire.
1. It’s not really your money anyway. It is a gift from God. He’s given you an opportunity to use it for a little while longer.
2. Be a wise steward but be as generous as you can. Helping others is one of the most important things you can do with money.
3. Worrying about money doesn’t help! Be grateful for what you have, whether other people think it is a little or a lot.
4. It is OK to enjoy some of it. (This one may be hard for some of us!)
Ultimately, Jesus might say not to worship the money but to worship with the money.
Cathy’s picture of the cookies reminded me of the many family and church gatherings I have enjoyed. At almost every one of them I will say something like, “No one is going hungry today!” In our family and in our church, there is always enough. In our family and in our church, if anyone really needed something and we knew about it, between us, we would have enough to help.
I know some of us are facing or will face tough financial times. Many of us have had tough financial times in the past, but there was always enough to make it through the day. I pray with God and the people He puts in our lives, we know we have more than enough.