Nurturing Your Faith

The end of full time work brings the opportunity to do those things that may have been too easily squeezed out in the past.

In the same way as there’s the prospect of tending neglected roses, there is also the garden of your soul to consider.

The ‘after-work’ years are a wonderful time to put some fertiliser on your faith.

  • Go For Growth

    The Bible is clear that, whatever age we may be, God wants us to grow. To grow in understanding and wisdom and trust and obedience. He is never finished with us.

    In your new world with more time, check out the many appearances of the word ‘grow’ or ‘growing’ in the Bible. And give them a good mull over. Words like –

    • ‘Live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God’. (Colossians 1:10)

    • ‘We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more’. (2 Thessalonians 1:3)

    In response, you may want to increase your intake of the Bible and books that stretch your mind and feed your understanding of the God who made you and loves you.

    Even bravely seeking out those that will challenge your thinking, including ones from other spiritual traditions.

  • Put Your Faith Into Action

    Important as it is to know more, spiritual growth does not spring simply from the knowledge and understanding you acquire. It comes from putting your faith into action. Food without exercise produces fat, not muscles.

    So look out for activities and opportunities that call for you to depend on God and his promises to you in new ways. Perhaps in the service of others or in new openings to share the good news of Jesus.

  • Set Goals

     

    Consider creating your own spiritual bucket list – those things you’d really like to tick off while you still can. Perhaps things like –

    • Getting your head round those parts of the Bible you tend to skip past or have never dug into.

    • Exploring one issue relating to your faith in depth – with a good Google to start with.

    • Contacting a couple of past friends you’ve lost touch with that you could invite to church or pass on a relevant book to.

    • Doing a distance learning course with one of the theological colleges – there are some great options

    • Training and becoming a Lay Pastoral Assistant if you are Anglican, or the equivalent if you are not.

    • Going on a guided retreat

  • Carve Out Time to Pray

    If prayer has never come easy in the past– which is true for many of us – it is not going to be easier now. But you do have more time and space to work at it and even do it a bit differently.

    Some things you could do are –

    • Check out recent books on prayer to get you kick-started

    • Form a prayer triplet with others who are also now ‘after-work’

    • Start a prayer journal, listing those in your networks – recreational, former work colleagues, neighbours and church friends – and noting how God answers

    • Tap into 24-7 Prayer for inspiration and resources

Have you found a way to nurture your faith in retirement that would help others like you? Please join our Facebook community and share it. Also, don’t forget to sign up to our inspiring blog.

The word retirement is not even in the Bible. What is taught in scripture is transition. There is nothing that says you work most of your life and then get to be selfish for the next 20 years

Rick Warren, PurposeDrivenLife