Billy Graham

Billy Graham: Don’t look toward the future at the expense of your present responsibilities

Q: All I want to do is retire and enjoy my life. I don’t particularly like my job, and I won’t miss most of the people I work with. I still have a couple of years to go, but I daydream constantly about being retired. Is this wrong? — F.B.

A: It’s not necessarily wrong to think about the future, and to look forward to what we hope it will bring us. Job prayed, “Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for” (Job 6:8).

But daydreaming about the future is wrong if it causes us to ignore our present responsibilities. Yes, some day you hope to retire, but what if that day never comes? Will you then look back with regret, wishing you’d tried harder to find satisfaction in your present job?

Instead of spending all your time thinking about how happy you’ll be when you no longer have to work, ask God to make you thankful for your present job, and to help you do it well. Remember: for most of his life Jesus worked with his hands as a carpenter. The Bible says, “A person can do nothing better than to … find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God” (Ecclesiastes 2:24).

In addition, take time to consider how God might want you to spend your retirement years. Many people look forward to retirement only to end up bored or feeling useless. They planned financially for retirement, but they didn’t plan realistically. Don’t make that mistake.

Most of all, remember that someday your life will be over, and you will stand before God. Are you ready for that day? Make sure of your commitment to Jesus Christ, and use your remaining years to grow closer to God.

Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or go to BillyGraham.org.

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