Where is the love?
I went to a luncheon last week that made me start thinking about something that I want to tell you about. So here it is. Retirement is more than money; so much more.
And what brought me to this realization? From time to time, I get together with a group of men for lunch. I should do it more often than I do. But since the pandemic, I have been slow to make it a regular part of my week. It’s not because I’m scared of getting COVID. Heck, I’ve had it twice. I just didn’t get the point of a regular lunch. But this week helped me better understand the importance of social connections.
There can be anywhere from ten to twenty men that make it to the lunch. Some are retired, and some (like me) are still working. But it’s a nice group of guys that gather and talk about the weather, family, business, food, and what’s happening in the world. But most of all, we gather to talk about God.
So what’s God got to do with retirement?
I know I usually write to you about money or investing ideas. But today, I want to talk to you about finding meaning in retirement. For you, that meaning might be through God or something else. But I want to emphasize that retirement is more than money.
If you don’t have more meaning in retirement than money, I think you will have a very disappointing retirement. Here is why.
I realize that there are lots of things that can make retirement stressful. Other issues like lack of money, investments, health, family, social, or government issues can overwhelm you if you let them. Even with all of these, there is probably something that I am forgetting.
But no matter what problems you face in retirement, they are made worse by not having some meaning in retirement.
I’m going to make a bold statement, and I’ll borrow from the Beatles song to make it. “All you need is love” to find meaning in retirement.
Here’s why and I’ll use a biblical perspective we discussed in my luncheon to make my point. I am going to quote a scripture from the Bible about love. But I want you to look at this scripture as it is written. Then I want to rephrase it and look at it a little differently. Where the word love is, work in the word selflessness. And remember that selflessness literally means putting less importance on yourself than others.
1 John 4:7 of the Bible
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love; not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
Here my intent is not to be disrespectful or sacrilegious by shifting some words. Above all, I am trying to make a point. Look at that scripture when I work in the word selflessness in place of love.
Love is selflessness
Let us be selfless to one another, for selflessness comes from God. Everyone who is selfless has been born of God and knows God. Whoever is not selfless does not know God because God is selfless. This is how God showed his selflessness among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. This is selflessness; not that we were selfless to God, but that he was so selfless to us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God was so selfless to us, we also ought to be selfless to one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we are selfless to one another God lives in us and his selflessness is made complete in us.
Summing it up
To sum up my point, if you want to have meaning in retirement, find a way to give love. Find a way to be selfless and give of yourself. As I have said, if you don’t have more meaning in retirement than money, I think you are going to have a very disappointing retirement.
Above all, as for those in my luncheon group that are retired, it is apparent that they have found meaning in retirement. You can tell that they have found purpose in retirement through their love of God because they are genuinely selfless to one another. And God lives in them. They are kind and patient with one another. Plus, they are not boastful or envious. If you want the biblical perspective on that, you’ll have to go to 1 Corinthians 13:4
Today I didn’t offer you financial knowledge. But I hope this is a perspective that will help you have better control over your retirement, now and in the future. And if you are ever in northwest Houston on a Wednesday, you are welcome to join us for lunch.
Have a great week,
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