Investing is all about multiplying your money and putting your money to work for you. You might be surprised to find that the Bible talks about investing. These words were written in ancient times, meaning people have been investing for thousands of years. People faced the same investing issues then that we do now. There’s a lot we can learn from this time-tested advice.
Solomon’s Words of Wisdom
Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived, and he had a lot to say about investing.
He wrote, “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days” (Ecclesiastes 11.1). Throwing your bread on the water might sound strange to us. But it means take a risk! Don’t hoard all your money in a savings account or under your mattress—and you’ll get more results than keeping the bread safe. Investing is inherently risky, but it’s the only way to earn a rate of return. Even Solomon knew that your money will depreciate if it’s not invested.
A few verses later, he wrote, “In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good” (Ecclesiastes 11.6). This refers to the principle of sowing and reaping. Life is uncertain and nothing is guaranteed, so you shouldn’t hesitate to give to others and invest in different ventures, because you don’t know which one will succeed. The worst thing you can do is play it safe.
Investors call this diversification. It’s simple, but it’s so simple not to do! Diversify is the number one advice everyone in the financial world gives, but so few people take it. What does it mean to diversify? You should have a little bit of bonds in there, and then a little bit of stocks with small companies, mid-sized companies, and large companies. Your mix shouldn’t be too heavy in any certain sector. Then hold on for dear life! Don’t forget to rebalance this portfolio on a regular basis. To learn more, check out How to Make Money in the Stock Market.
Jesus: The Parable of the Talents
There’s a parable from Jesus with a similar principle. Jesus talked about money frequently—more than heaven and hell combined. Why? He knew that how we spend our money reveals who we are and what we worship.
In the parable of the talents, a businessman gives money to three different servants before he goes on a journey. Two of the servants skillfully trade and profit until they each double the money they were given. Impressive! The master returns and praises these two servants with these famous words: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
But the third servant did nothing. He says, “I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours” (Matt. 25.25). The master calls him wicked and slothful. On the surface, he didn’t lose money, and he’s honest about his reasoning. So why is the master so angry? Because the servant didn’t even try. The master says, “you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest” (Matt. 25.27). He punishes the servant for his laziness.
The master’s reaction sounds harsh at first, but being a wise steward of your finances means putting your money to work. The same goes for the skills, talents, and opportunities God has given you. He’s put you on this earth for a purpose and given you specific work to do for his glory. Laziness and hoarding will not be rewarded when you one day stand before God to give account of your life.
To get your money moving in the right direction for your future, you have to get it off the sidelines. Having extra funds sitting in cash, Money Market accounts, and savings accounts won’t work. Your money has to be moving to retain its value. It can’t be stagnant. Be wise, be discerning, be generous, but do something.
For more on how to take the next step, see The Four Types of Investments.
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