Christians should invest, not simply to accumulate wealth for their own sake, but to increase their effectiveness for God’s Kingdom. Teaching Christians to invest is as important as teaching them how to budget. It’s all part of living as faithful stewards.
What the Bible Says
Investing is a way to multiply the resources God has given us to provide for our current and future needs. It is also a means to increase what we have available to impact God’s kingdom. The stewards in Matthew 25:14-28 that multiplied their talents were commended for their good work but also entrusted with more talents.
God is faithful to always provide for our needs, and He is not against prosperity. However, we are responsible to be faithful in return to use our resources to honor God.
If you desire to be entrusted with greater riches, you need to be faithful with few (Luke 16:10-11). This means learning to be content with what you have and disciplined in your management of a little.
Reasons To Invest
1. To Further God’s Work.
In Acts 4:34, the believers sold their own land and possessions to meet the needs of other believers. God blessed some with a surplus to be used in the future.
Obviously, those that have more are able to give more to God’s work. That doesn’t mean that everyone will, but I encourage you to be generous in how you give.
2. To Care For Your Family.
Having a surplus doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give it all away. Giving and saving are both biblical principles, and stewards should have a proper balance between the two. We are to give first to advance God’s work, save a portion to ensure we have an Emergency Fund, and then begin investing. Investing can be a wise way to save for college tuition, to provide for yourself during your later years of life, or to leave an inheritance for your children.
3. To Be Free.
When you have planned for your future and have the ability to personally fund your living expenses without working, then both your time and money are available to be used for the Kingdom.
Reasons NOT to Invest
The biggest reason not to invest is if you have the wrong heart attitude. There are many heart attitudes that are out of alignment with Scripture, but I have found these four to be the biggest offenders.
Greed: the desire to always have more and have only the best. “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.” (1 Timothy 6:9) Christians should not invest out of a spirit of greed. Remember that nothing you have here on this earth will last in eternity. Greed is a reflection of our discontentment with what God has provided.
Pride: the desire to be elevated or esteemed because of material achievements.“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” (1 Timothy 6:17) Investing to feel better about yourself or to show off to others will always lead to more discontentment and does not further God’s purposes for your life.
Ignorance: the desire to follow your own path without seeking counsel or seeking the counsel of misguided people. “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22) Especially in today’s digital age, there is no excuse for being without capable counselors. Seek wise, godly counsel, and make decisions supported with research and wisdom.
Envy: the desire to achieve based on jealousy of other people’s success. “For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” (Psalm 73:3) Contentment, not comparison, is the goal. Focus on all the wonderful blessings the Lord has bestowed upon you, and do not concern yourself with “keeping up with the Joneses”.
Seeking contentment in every area of your life will bring you financial freedom. But first you have to understand what the Bible says about money, so you can adjust your beliefs and behaviors. Crown’s online MoneyLife Personal Finance study is an in-depth course that explains what the Bible says about every aspect of your finances. It’s a course designed to help you become a good and faithful steward, and to live in financial freedom.
Remember the one guaranteed investment is God’s Kingdom – He guarantees that you are laying up for yourselves treasures in Heaven!