Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash
In the parable of the talents in Luke 19:11-27, Jesus makes it clear that He expects us to be good stewards of the time, talents and treasures that He has put at our disposal. In the area of finance, we are to let our wealth yield dividends for us.
Look at the following verses:
“So he called 10 of his servants and gave them 10 minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back’.” Luke 19: 13
“Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?” Luke 19:23
Good stewardship of wealth includes wise investments. The Bible offers practical wisdom on investing to help us do it with insight and foresight.
It is important that you do not invest what you do not have. It is better not to invest at all than to invest what you cannot afford to lose. Do not borrow to invest.
Make it a priority to protect your capital and not just increase your profits. Protect what you cannot afford to lose.
Have a fair degree of liquidity in a significant percentage of your investments so that, should the need arise, you can convert them to cash for God’s work and His purposes.
Will the investment yield good returns? If you have a substantial amount of funds to invest, let me suggest that you engage the services of professionals to structure a suitable investment plan for you.
Make sure that what you are investing in is, to the best of your knowledge, socially sound and morally uplifting. As believers, we would not want to invest in shares of companies that do not advocate what we believe in or are engaged in what we would not embrace.
3 Danger Signs
1. The Get-Rich-Quick Mentality
The Bible warns against the get-rich-quick mentality that many of us tend to have.
This is the basic drive of many gamblers. Gambling is incompatible with the Christian responsibility of loving our fellow men with the Christian understanding of stewardship and with a Christian view of the responsible use of our time and energy.
A true investor puts his money to work over a period of time. He is more concerned about the fundamentals of the company he is investing in, such as its management, performance and potential, rather than the emotions of the market and speculators.
Proverbs 13:11 says: “Dishonest money dwindles away but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.”
2. The Spirit of Slothfulness
The Bible esteems hard work but condemns laziness. Once slothfulness sets in, watch out! Poverty is following close behind.
Proverbs 24:30-34 talks about the sluggard: “I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what l saw: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest – and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.”
This is so painfully true. Laziness is a habit and once we embrace it, it will destroy us.
3. The Trap of Debt
Proverbs 22:7 says: “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.”
One of the things that ensnares many Christians is the debt trap. When we make investments with money that we do not have, we are buying on leverage. We should not borrow in order to get more out of it. Romans 13:8 tells us: “Owe no man anything accept to love one another.”
What is Financial Wisdom?
In Luke 16:1-9, Jesus told a story about a cunning but dishonest servant who was about to lose his job.
He called in his master’s debtors and started reducing their debts. Those who owed 800 gallons of olive oil had their debt reduced to 400 gallons. Those who owed 1,000 bushels of wheat had their debts reduced to 800 bushels. The master, instead of punishing the servant, commended him for being wise.
Some of us have a problem with this parable. How can Jesus commend his dishonesty? What is the lesson of the parable? Well, the Lord is trying to teach us a basic lesson – relationship is more important than money.
Jesus said in verse 9: “I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.”
2 Peter 1:10-11 tells us: “Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
So if you were to ask the Lord what He wants you to do with your money, He will tell you to make friends – friends whom you can help to send to heaven.
And when you get to heaven yourself, you will not even recognise many of these people.
An African may come up to you and thank you because you gave some money to Open Doors and it was through Open Doors that this person received a Bible in his own language. Or an Indian may thank you because the money you gave to a missionary enabled him to travel to a village and preach the Gospel, which brought salvation to the Indian!
Be wise! There are two things that will last for eternity – the Word of God and the souls of men.
Use money to send these souls in advance to heaven. The bank in heaven does not transact in money but in souls.
In the years to come, focus on reaching your community! Be generous when it comes to spending money on the lost because this is the wisest thing to do with your money.
This article is an excerpt from the book, Managing Money God’s Way. (Singapore, Armour Publishing, 2008) Reprinted with permission. The book is available at major Christian retailers, armourpublishing.com and amazon.com.
Salt&Light readers receive a 20% discount on Managing Money God’s Way when you purchase the book/s from armourpublishing.com. The promotion period ends on April 1, 2018. Please use the promo code: MONEY20. This offer is only applicable to the hardcopy of the book and not the e-book.
We are an independent, non-profit organisation that relies on the generosity of our readers, such as yourself, to continue serving the kingdom. Every dollar donated goes directly back into our editorial coverage.
Would you consider partnering with us in our kingdom work by supporting us financially, either as a one-off donation, or a recurring pledge?Support Salt&Light