Here are five biblical reasons God wants you to invest:
1. To be a good steward. Money and possessions are on loan to us from God. By learning about the various options that are available to us, we can make the best decisions. Careful study, prayer, and education are necessary. If you were buying a car would you buy the first one available? Most people will do some research, compare features, options, and prices. You would possible test drive various models and shop different dealers to select the right vehicle. It involves many steps. It is the same with investing. There are several steps you need to take to educate yourself on all of the possibilities so that you can narrow in on the type that is most beneficial. God expects us to be wise in the area of finance. If we do not desire to do this, we are expected and commanded to seek wise counsel. Like the thief who pleads ignorance, the judge will still sentence him as this is no defense. We are called to do the best with the resources that God provides.
2. To learn to defer gratification. By saving and investing we are able to delay things that we want today in preparation for tomorrow. This has been a real sore spot for many. They wrestle with the faith versus reason battle. It’s the chicken or the egg dilemma! If we do not save for our futures, we impose on someone or something which drains resources. I have this friend, Tony, who has a great heart for the Lord. He would often get in bitter disagreements with his friend Jeb over where faith and reason separate. Tony, who was taking care of a family of four, often would purposely not bring lunch or money to work, in hope that ―God would provide‖. Jeb saw this and grew angry as this appeared to be using a lack of reason and disguising it as faith. It nearly tore apart their relationship. We need to be careful that we are not so close to the edge that we blinding cry out ―faith‖ when reason could solve the problem. At the same time, we cannot take God out of the picture and always claim reason. By praying and carefully examining our options, we can begin to achieve the correct balance. Delaying our immediate wants allows God to provide for our needs and prepare us for bigger things to come.
3. To provide for our family’s needs. (ie: college, a home, etc.) As a father, I have the tremendous pleasure of providing for my families, physical, mental, spiritual, and financial needs. As the sole bread winner, Karen and I decided early in our marriage that when it came time to have children, she would stay at home with them. This was a clear and easy decision to make. We wanted that close relationship to be at home until the children went off to school. As a provider of the family, saving and investing allows for me to provide an adequate back-up plan for my premature demise. I have faith that God would provide, but why drain resources when I can use the skills and resources God provides today to prepare for tomorrow.
4. To become more effective long-term givers. As we strive to reach the ideal saving plan, we begin or continue to give to God what is rightfully his (10%) and build up a reserve for future callings by the spirit and prepare for our future. These new found habits, create a longer-term perspective. This prepares and teaches us how to be better long-term servants.
5. To prepare for our own retirement needs. Without planning for your future, you rely on others to take care of you- the government, the church, your family, your kids. If you have the means to save now for the future, it makes sense when combined with the other two parts of the savings plan. This is not hoarding, it is wise and careful planning.
The Ideal Saving Plan
Here is a safe plan to consider:
“The Three Tens”
10% to God first
10% for a rainy day or future blessings account
10% to savings for the future (retirement, college, etc)
This allows for us to have a starting plan in place to align our faith with our finances. By paying God first, saving for emergencies and opportunities God provides, and saving for our future and our family’s future, we have clear defined goals. We are ready and awaiting God’s future instructions and ready to walk into the marvelous light. What if we were all prepared and ready to assist when others were in need. Sin would lose its power, death would lose its sting ,we would obey God’s word. The impact that we could have for the kingdom would be overwhelming and abundant.
What are your thoughts? Am I on target? Did I miss any?