The idea of Biblical investing often brings up an array of mixed emotions and misunderstandings in Christians and non-Christians, alike. However, these misunderstandings usually stem from a misunderstanding of the intention of such investments. Investing, in the biblical sense, is not about hoarding money for the sole purpose of watching it grow. Investing is about being good caretakers of the blessings that we have been given in order to further God’s work in the world.
The Bible has numerous examples of those who have both prospered and lived lives that are pleasing to God through the proper management and use of their riches. But not only are there anecdotal examples throughout Scripture, there are also specific tidbits of wisdom and advice, mostly from King Solomon, to help Christians invest wisely and maintain an ethical and spiritual standard that follows the core beliefs of Christianity.
Now you might be wondering what the Bible could possibly say about modern investment theories, and that is a great question. Of course Scripture does not directly relate to the stock market or the “tech bubble,” but the fundamental principles of being proper stewards of what God has given us have not changed.
We can learn a great deal about the PRINCIPLES of investing Biblically by closely examining the wisdom of King Solomon, who was known amongst his peers as an individual for whom anything he touched prospered.
Let’s briefly touch on two of Solomon’s most well-known principles of investing.
1…Ecclesiastes 5:10. “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money.”
This principle is emphasized throughout Scripture and is a fundamental tenant of investing ethically. Christians do not invest to amass fortunes. We invest because we want to be good stewards and we want to grow our resources to better serve as caretakers of the world. No matter how much your investment grows, it will not satisfy you or make you happy by itself. King Solomon rightly identifies that making money simply for the sake of being rich is a misplaced motivation.
2…Ecclesiastes 11:2. “Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth.”
This is the most frequently referenced advice of King Solomon and the meaning for modern investors is clear. Diversification is absolutely essential to weathering the ups and downs of the market. It greatly reduces the risks that are often associated with many investments. This is especially important in an economy that is tentative at best, as is the current economy of the United States. Remember, the goal is long term stewardship, not overnight wealth. To that end, diversification, as suggested by King Solomon is a timeless investment strategy.
Following King Solomon’s principles of investing will both ensure an ethic focus on God and help with best practices. (Top image: Flickr | knowhimonline.)
The Solomon Success Team