Using our gifts in retirement

Using our gifts in retirement
Revd Robert Ingram
Revd Robert Ingram Teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church in America and founder, along with Dr RC Sproul, of the Geneva School, a Christian classical school in Winter Park, Florida.
05 March, 2024 4 min read

There is a phrase from the Book of Common Prayer that I have been ruminating on for the past thirty years, particularly as it related to the prospect of retirement:

And since it is of Thy mercy, O gracious Father, that another day is added to our lives; we here dedicate both our souls and our bodies to Thee and Thy service, in a sober, righteous, and godly life: in which resolution, do Thou, O merciful God, confirm and strengthen us; that, as we grow in age, we may grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Retirement, an indicator of growth in age, ought also to be a time of continued growth in grace. Being now retired, I am forced to ask, Am I still growing in grace? When we think in terms of our obligations as Christians to use our gifts to serve other Christians, the question becomes, Am I growing more gracious in giving myself away in the service of others?

This is a question that each believer must ask throughout his or her life, but especially in retirement, when selfishness and narcissism can prevail. There is a real temptation to justify self-absorption.

Serving others

To counteract this temptation I remind myself of the Apostle Paul’s exhortation in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: ‘Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.’

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