Back to The Basics: Investing

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by Tim on February 9, 2011

What Does The Bible Say About Investing?

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about investing? Is it stocks,
bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, or
IRAs
?
Almost everyone knows about these types of investments today (to a degree) and considers it wise to invest your money into assets that appreciate, right? But what do the scriptures say about investments that we can actually apply towards today? None of these modern investing tools were even around back then! Don’t let that keep you from understanding what the scriptures say about investing though. The wisdom we find in the Bible can make us strong investors if we take the time to apply what we study – so let’s take a look!

How Should Christians Invest?

I’m not here to tell you what you should put your money in. That’s not how the Bible answers this question. In fact, the wisdom we find in scripture helps us to shape our mindset when it comes to investing so that we can make the best decisions when opportunities arise.

Know Your Investments

Proverbs 19:2 – Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good; haste makes mistakes.

Peter Lynch, one of America’s greatest investors summed it up well with his main philosophy: Know what you own. If you cannot understand what you’re investing in, there’s a good chance that you don’t need to be in it at all! Take the time to understand the product. The scriptures are clear and modern day investing giants repeat the same advice to avoid investments you do not understand.

Carefully Watch Your Investments

Proverbs 27:23, 24 Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds, for riches don’t last forever, and the crown might not be passed to the next generation.

If you think that managing your finances isn’t necessarily a priority we find in scripture, think again. Why does the Bible instruct us to pay attention to where your money and resources are going? Because it’s all God’s anyways, and we’re just stewarding it. This article isn’t about the specifics of tracking your investments – no, it’s simply a look into the scriptures that tell us the importance of knowing the state of our investments. How can we grow our investments if we don’t understand and know where it’s being invested?

Diversify Your Investments

Ecclesiastes 11:2 Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth.

We have no guarantee for tomorrow – and this lack of guarantee holds true for just about every investment out there today. Does this uncertainty mean we shouldn’t invest our money at all? Of course not! Solomon addressed investment risk thousands of years ago, and it still holds true today. Should you follow this verse exactly and invest in only seven or eight funds…probably not. It all depends on your tolerance for risk and the options that are available to you. The point is to not keep all your eggs in one basket. You need to be well diversified – a topic that is worthy if it’s own post!

Final Words On Investing

By no means is this an all-encompassing article on investing, nor does it cover every scripture about investments and stewardship. We can take pages and pages to write about Biblical examples of investing, but this was designed to give a basic idea of what the scriptures say about investing. One of the most powerful stories of investing can be found in the Parable of the Talents found in Matthew 25: 14-30.
I’ll let the scripture speak for itself as an example of how God is calling us to continuously look for ways to be a better steward of the resources He’s given to us.


Matthew 25:14-30 (New Living Translation)
Parable of the Talents
14 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by
the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his
servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. 15 He
gave five bags of silver[a] to one, two bags of silver to another,
and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to
their abilities. He then left on his trip. 16 “The servant who
received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and
earned five more. 17 The servant with two bags of silver also went
to work and earned two more. 18 But the servant who received the
one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s
money. 19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip
and called them to give an account of how they had used his money.
20 The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver
came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five
bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’ 21 “The
master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful
servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so
now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate
together![b]’ 22 “The servant who had received the two bags of
silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of
silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’ 23 “The master said,
‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in
handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more
responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’ 24 “Then the servant
with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were
a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops
you didn’t cultivate. 25 I was afraid I would lose your money, so I
hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’ 26 “But the
master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I
harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t
cultivate, 27 why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least
I could have gotten some interest on it.’ 28 “Then he ordered,
‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the
ten bags of silver. 29 To those who use well what they are given,
even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from
those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken
away. 30 Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where
there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Have you ever wondered what the Bible said about
investing? Do you have any questions that you want us to look into?
Write it in the comments or write us an
email!

Back to The Basics Series…

Part One: Income
Part Two: Savings
Part Three: Budgeting
Part Four: Debt
Part Five: Investing
Part Six: Giving

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

brokeprofessionals February 9, 2011

Really like what your doing here. It is great to see such a fresh perspective on the bible and money. I guess what I take from the bible the most, about finances, is to give to others less fortunate than yourself. Maybe wise people that I know insist that if they do that they will always be provided for themselves. Sometimes I have so much debt I get stuck in a mindset where I’m like “forget it, I can’t give anyone any charity, I owe six figures in debt).” But I know that is not the right way to go about it, deep down.

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solomon June 13, 2012

My first time been on this site of yours, and i am enjoying my self.
God bless You.

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Leland Baptist April 16, 2013

I wonder what would the master do if he lent 2 bags of silver and found out that the serve t with the two bags invested yet reaped little or no gains, or even loss the investment.
What do you think the master would order to the servant?

P.S. awesome stuff I love the website and what you’re doing!

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