What Does the Bible Teach About Investing?

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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:

  1. Faithfully using your resources (Mt. 25:14-30)
  2. 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.

FYI – I’m on vacation until Friday night (EST) so if you’re a first time commenter I will moderate comments at that point.  If you are a regular commenter, your comment will post immediately.


  1. says

    I think there’s crucial line between true investing and get-rich-quick. The differences should be self-evident, but in modern society the line is often obscure.

    Investing is developing a strategy for the preservation of capital and for growing it over time. We all need to do this to be good stewards of our money, especially since what we think of as our money is often what we’re holding and investing for the benefit of others.

    Get rich quick often looks like investing, especially when it seems to be working. But it’s really the chase for money for money’s own sake, and there are a whole bunch of unholy traits that go along with that chase.

    In the financial media, it’s all about return–this mutual fund is up 117% in five years, that fund has an average annual return of 17.49%–that’s a money chase because it ignores the ups and downs along the way and appeals to greed. Safety of principal or predictability of returns is nowhere in any of those numbers. It’s really a speculation if it’s all about return, and I don’t think that’s biblical.
    .-= Kevin@OutOfYourRut´s last blog ..Face the Future Informed and Without Fear =-.

    • Craig says

      I think that you are exactly right. One of the key issues is the amount of risk you take. Also, as you point out, the motivations (desire to get rich quick) also play an important role.
      Thanks for your comment.

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