The 7 good habits of an actively retired disciple. How many are yours?

As the old proverb goes ‘Habits maketh the man – or woman’. But what habits will serve you best as a follower of Jesus in your years of active retirement? Here are my recommendations.

1.Aim to keep Jesus as the centre of all you are

Of course, this first habit is no different from the way Jesus calls us to live during the stages of life that have gone before. To ’Love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and mind’ Matthew 22:37.

2.Don’t quit the race

In this new season it is not a time to rest on our laurels and coast. But to keep engaging with God through Scripture, prayer, worship and joyful obedience at a time of fresh opportunities.

3.Cultivate an expectation of continued spiritual renewal

Keep looking to God for new spiritual growth and understanding. As Paul says, ‘We do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed’ 2 Corinthians 4:15. 

4.Deepen your trust in God for the future

We may wonder how you’ll manage. ‘Will we cope?’ ‘Will we have enough?’ But God has promised he will provide: ‘Even to your old age, I am he who will sustain you’.  Isaiah 46:4. That’s a promise to keep hold of from the very moment fulltime work ends.

5.Be prepared to be surprised by God and to see new things happen

This season can offer endless opportunities to have new experiences and explore new challenges. Be ready for what God may do for you, in you and through you. It may be different from the past but it will still be significant.

You may not be old yet, but if Scripture says ‘Your old men will dream, dreams (Joel 2:28) get some practice in before old age arrives.

6.Invest in others

Encourage and equip those coming up behind you by mentoring, supporting, inspiring and providing hospitality. Share the wisdom that God has given you with younger generations, pray for them, seek God’s best for them. As the Psalmist says, ‘I declare your power to the next generation’. Psalm 71:18.

7.Establish the right priorities

As an after-work disciple you are the target of all kinds of marketing. From holidays and finances, to hobbies, sports and funeral plans. There’s no shortage of those who would like your money and your time.

So make sure you listen also to God’s voice in all this. And take to heart St Paul’s encouragement to not ‘be conformed to the world’ but to be ‘transformed by the renewing of your mind’. Romans 12:2.

With these 7 habits at work you’ll be making each day count in serving God’s Kingdom. As Psalm 90:12 prays: Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Dianne Tidball

What insights, experiences or questions do you have about establishing godly habits in your after-work years? Please share them here or on the AfterWorkNet Facebook community

Dianne Tidball is a retired Baptist Regional Minister spending her after-work time Bible teaching in local churches, mentoring women leaders and helping churches house the homeless.  She loves being a grandma to Noah, travelling, reading novels and sharing coffee and social events with other women.

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