Home » Sabbath: Giving Back    


Sabbath: Giving Back — 11 Comments

  1. Right now I am living at the time of life that this lesson is about. In fact, I have been retired for about 10 years and with a bit of luck I may live another 10. If I follow in my mother's footsteps, I may live for over 20 more years. I am not holding my breath on that one - Mum was a legend and lived to 101.

    I have all the usual issues of older people; have we got enough money to last the difference; should we move into a smaller place; what do we do with all our spare time; is our health going to deteriorate; am I a candidate for dementia; and so on.

    The lesson this week is entitled, "Giving Back" and of course, seeing the author is a money man, he is going to talk about money matters. I think that is important, but it's Sabbath today and I want to mention that other asset that we have, time. We often think of retirement as a time when we can do what we like when we like. But it is also a time when we can give back to the community through our use of time.

    Carmel and I have become in the U3A movement - a volunteer organisation that encourages older folk to learn new things and to be socially active. Having spent most of our lives in church employ in and near church institutions, getting away from the church environment and actively taking part has been both challenging and rewarding. Carmel, an already accomplished pianist, has learned to play the Ukulele and I teach bird photography and also serve as the IT officer. The local U3A has nearly 300 members and we offer about 40 courses and activities, from purely social, right through to academically challenging. We see our involvement as an opportunity to engage with the community at large and contribute through our interaction.

    Most of us with good health have about 20 years of retirement to consider. That is roughly a quarter of our lives. The sad reality is that I see many reach retirement without any real plan about what they are going to do. Planning for the use of retirement time is, I believe, as important as planning your finances.

    • Maurice, I’m glad you mentioned the use of time. I hear too often from retirees that they are bored out of their mind. On the other hand, some, like my mother, said that she was more busy in retirement—giving back her time— than when she was working for a paycheck. As already stated, time is a very valuable resource, and we have responsibility to use that time wisely until the end of our days. We are still managing for the master until he comes.

    • Thank you Maurice. My wife and I just retired and made a move out of California. We will be looking diligently for a mission/ministry to contribute to and give back in this phase of life. We don’t know what it is yet, but the way things worked out getting here suggests to us that God has a plan.

    • About two years ago, I had to take early retirement, and absolutely agree with you on the issues you raise, especially that of time. Time is the one thing that in retirement is abundant and requires one to plan for.
      Because of my health limitations, I spend quite a bit of my time online helping young couples who struggle with the early and middle years of their marriage. As I said on an earlier post, I spend a bit of my time at an orphanage together with an aunt and a colleague from church. But I also take time to help our young son with his school work. In fact, I have enrolled for some courses this year which our son will be doing next year so that then I will be ready to home school him in addition to his regular school work. I must also admit that I am my wife's consultant with her studies as well. Professionally, I offer help to my former employer on certain critical matters. I find it fulfilling.

  2. In our fallen state, living within a fallen world, as humans we are very vulnerable to anxiety and fear under certain conditions. And Satan, true to his maleficent nature, takes every opportunity to exploit this vulnerability. Hopefully this week's lesson will give us opportunity to better understand the nature of fear and what God has done, is doing and will continue to do so that we may counter fear with faith in Him and His promise to remain with us (Matthew 28:20), and to make all things ultimately work together for our good (Romans 8:28; Proverbs 3:5-6) - even the bad things. And this is not just something that applies to retirement years.

  3. Giving back is great. It's one way to get to know a lot about your environment. It may well give you an insight of different challenges people go through which can allow you to broaden your understanding where you can use your experience to counsel.

  4. “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them” (Revelation 14:13)

    I wondered why the author of the lesson used this text as I always perceived it as being sometime in the future. Then i came to the realization that we are currently living in the time of the first angels angels message. YIKES!!!!!
    Hebrews 4:7 — New Living Translation (NLT)
    7 So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted:
    “Today when you hear his voice,
    don’t harden your hearts.”

  5. I started to take a closer lock at the wording of the lesson topics. How can I interpret the meaning of today’s lesson of ‘giving back’? In order to ‘give back’, I have to accept that I received something that can be given back. What have I received that I have the authority over to ‘give back’, and whom do I give it back to?

    Though the lesson writer focuses the study on the ‘last years’ of our life, I am certain that he includes the bigger picture of experiencing one’s life in the ongoing balance of 'giving and receiving'. Only when we have too much or too little, do we ‘worry’ about how to secure it. What constitutes too little and what is too much? Is it based on our expectations – our covetousness?

    With the accumulation of wealth and power comes the responsibility of maintaining it. I think that our Lord Christ Jesus, from the outset, points to the life lived content with having sufficient and to be grateful for it – a simple lifestyle. So, for a Christian, I think that ‘giving back’ in the context of a well-managed and balanced life is synonymous with participating in life’s ongoing exchanges where no one is considered a ‘winner’ or ‘looser’ - i.e. being a good steward.

    • I think the Christian's approach should be practical and thoughtful of others, rather than introspective and theoretical. There is not much sense in saying that I cannot use electricity until I understand the theory, when, for all practical purposes, all you need to do is switch it on and let electricity do its thing.

      • Maurice – I definitely agree that all truths we know from Scripture applicable to our daily life ought to be 'experienced'. I consider there to be three phases of this process – learning, understanding, and applying. Whether being interested in ‘understanding’ Truth or not, God’s Truth needs to be applied/lived and experienced 'by faith' to form in us our new nature.
        As you are drawn to enjoy math and physics, I feel drawn to understand the deeper, spiritual meaning of God’s Truth. Though I believe His basic Truth, it does not come alive to benefit me until I choose to apply that which I am told to be truthful and honorable; so we agree.

        Using your example - applying basic confidence/faith in our Lord and Savior’s Word signals that we want the Holy Spirit to go ahead and ‘turn on the switch’ – and the ‘Light comes on’. As Christians, we are blessed with the incredible opportunity to learn the ‘why and how’ of God’s Truth, just as you are given the means which helps you to learn all about mathematics and physical sciences; both settings are established for 'hypothesies' to be proven/experienced in real life.

        I relish my discovery/learning-experience probably as much as you relish the experience when being out in nature to discover beautiful birds, or sharing your science discoreries with your grand children. Sharing your 'pictures'/my 'insights' with others only conveys the result of a personal 'experience'. The fuller understanding comes through 'going out' and experiencing things for themselves.

        And this is, as I see it, the true beauty in ‘giving back’ – when we are blessed by the Holy Spirit with life's beautiful experiences, we want to share the 'increase’ with others - no matter what it is.

  6. It is wise to think of the future. Maybe it's even wiser to think and let God direct the present, every day. The future is guaranteed from the decisions I make daily.

    Today I've heard something about being happy. What comes to my mind is that to be the most happy in this life it is necessary to find out what is the will of God for my life, every day.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags allowed in your comment: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>