God is the perfect partner for any Christian investment program. After all, He supplies all the seed we and He multiplies it. Any investment program ought to be based around multiplying assets that God supplies, as pointed out in the parable of the stewards in Luke 19:12-24. The seeds we retain then bring in a greater harvest the next time. As we show our faithfulness, He will give us even more. Our responsibility is to return it to His work.
Reasons for investing
God’s prerequisite for investing is centered on our attitudes. Money can be used for the comfort and convenience of our families and to provide the needs of others. It can be used to spread the Gospel or used for destructive purposes.
If misused, such as by the rich young ruler recorded in Matthew 19:16-30, money can be an object of devotion and idolatry. Love of money has separated families and shattered friendships, even broken up countless marriages.
Christians must assess why they want to invest and how the surplus from the investments will be used, in the light of God’s principles. God does not condem n prosperity, but He hates the evil attitudes that often accompany prosperity. These attitudes include greed, covetousness, and pride. Since ultimately attitude will determine how an investment surplus is used, it is vital to discover what attitudes God wants us to have about money.
Are you aware that there are Biblically sound reasons for investing, and there are unscriptural reasons for investing? If you are investing for the wrong reasons it’s like a fireman having his ladder leaning against the wrong building. No matter how high he climbs, the people he wants to rescue are in a different building.
First we will evaluate why people invest and accumulate money, and then we’ll look at the Biblically sound and unsound reasons for investing.
Why do people invest?
- Others advise it. Many people invest simply because someone else told them to. God’s Word says to seek good counsel, but we must weigh all counsel received against His Word.
Envy of others. People want to invest and accumulate wealth simply because they envy other people and their successes.
It is a game. Some people invest because they consider it to be a competitive game. They often get so wrapped up in the contest that they sacrifice family, friends, or health in order to win the game.
Self-esteem and ego. Accumulating wealth will get others to envy them. This motive them to use their money in an attempt to buy esteem and bolster their pride and ego. A man’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor? (Proverbs 29:23).
The love of money. Those who love money will not part with it for any reason. Their lives are characterized by hoarding and abasement. This is a type of idol worship. First Timothy 6:10, Hebrews 13:5, and Luke 9:25 caution against the love of money.
Protection. Some people accumulate money thinking it will provide protection. This attitude places money as the object of trust and security rather than God.
Slothfulness. By not planning well during the earlier years of their lives they panic and try to generate in five years what they should have saved over the previous 20 years.
A spiritual gift. There is only one reason why God supplies a surplus of wealth to a Christian is so that the needs of others can be met. Before God entrusts greater riches to Christians, they must be found faithful in the smaller amount first (Luke 16:10-11). God promises His blessings to all who freely give and promises His curse on those who hoard, steal, covet, or idolize.
There are three Biblically sound reasons for investing.
- Multiply to give more. The parable of the talents recorded in Luke 19:12-26 tells us that God entrusts wealth to some of His stewards so that it will multiply and be available to Him at a later date.
Meet future family needs. The indication throughout God’s Word is that the heads of families should provide for their own (1 Timothy 5:8). Good planning requires laying aside some of the surplus for future needs.
Further the Gospel. If the Church will ever to break out of the borrowing habit, Christians who invest must maintain some surpluses and be willing to give to legitimate needs.
There are four unsound reasons for investing.
- Greed. Greed is the desire to have more while demanding only the best (1 Timothy 6:9).
Envy. Envy is the desire to achieve based on other people’s successes (Psalm 73:3).
Pride. Pride is the desire to be elevated because of material achievements (1 Timothy 6:17).
Ignorance. Ignorance is following the counsel of misguided people.Once a Christian has accepted that the purpose of investing is to serve God better, the crucial decision is how much to invest. Much prayer is necessary and a plan for the use and the distribution of the potential surplus must be made before the money becomes available. Set goals and pray about each goal before attempting to do any investing.
Being rich or being poor is a matter of providence in God’s will, and He will give us only what we are capable of handling. God, in His eternal plan, has decided to use us to supply and to fund His work. One day we must all stand before God and give an account of what we have done with His resources.