The Bible has little to say directly in reference to investing. Nevertheless, there are a lot of general biblical principles that can help guide the Christian investor.
Investing can be a means of:
- Faithfully using your resources (Mt. 25:14-30)
- Ensuring the provisional needs of your family (1 Tim. 5:8).
Matthew 25:14-30 records the words of the well known Parable of the Talents. Of course, this discussion is much broader than the apparent discussion about handling money. Nevertheless, the foundational idea is that when we are entrusted with something from God. God wants us to responsibly handle that which he has entrusted to us.
We could apply this to anything from spiritual gifts to money.
How Much Investing Risk Should Christians Take?
Investing is an area where a person cannot enjoy successes without basic knowledge. Since our money has been entrusted by God, you should have a basic knowledge of the investing world. Dave Ramsey rightly advises, “Never invest in something you do not understand.”
Two Investing Dangers
The first is completely avoiding risk and thus avoiding any potential for positive gain. In the story of the talents the one man was chastised for burying his talent. With inflation and devaluation you might just end up behind where you started.
The second danger is assuming too much risk which could result in a complete loss of what you have been entrusted.
The clear goal is to balance risk and reward and make decisions based on the likelihood of success.
While this one page overview will not allow me to expand, let me quickly say this is achieved (increase the likely hood of investing success) by properly diversifying (spreading investment out) and increasing your investing timeframe. The more properly diversified your account is and the longer your timeframe, the higher likelihood you have that you will meet your goals successfully.
It is essential for Christians to have proper investing boundaries.
The Sound Mind Investing Handbook proposes that we need boundaries because of impure motives, limited vision, powerful emotions, and flawed wisdom. Mechanical guidelines help keep us within the proper limitations.
Like each element in this biblical money tree, your purposes and intentions are tantamount to determining if your actions are biblical. Essentially, through investing you can take the little you have and maximize its earning opportunity in order to benefit God’s kingdom by placing the gains in service to God’s kingdom. Ultimately, Christians are not required to invest and some Christians may have legitimate reasons for not investing.
Nevertheless, do not allow ignorance be one of those reasons as ignorance can be solved by a little education. On the other hand, investing and investing gains can become such a focus that we do truly hunger and thirst for that more than we do righteousness (Mt. 5:6).
Invest it, monitor it, but do not obsess over it.
Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. (Proverbs 23:4 NIV)
Photo by epicharmus.
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