The Ultimate Get Rich Quick Scheme
A young man asked an old rich man how he made his money.
The old guy fingered his worsted wool vest and said, “Well, son, it was 1932, the depth of the Great Depression. I was down to my last nickel. I invested that nickel in an apple. I spent the entire day polishing the apple and, at the end of the day, I sold the apple for 10 cents.
The next morning, I invested those ten cents in two apples. I spent the entire day polishing them and sold them at 5pm for 20 cents. I continued this system for a month, by the end of which I’d accumulated a fortune of $1.37. Then my wife’s father died and left us two million dollars.”
Is Investing Biblical?
Before investing in anything, one should consider whether or not it is scriptural. As in many cases, the answer depends on the situation. Anyone investing because of greed (Luke 12:15), to get rich quick (Proverbs 23:4-5), or to massage his ego (Proverbs 29:23) is not participating in biblically-based or faith-based investing.
On the other hand, those who are acting as good stewards as in Luke 19:12-27 or those who are saving for future needs such as college or retirement (Proverbs 6:6-8) may be participating in biblical or faith-based investing. In the end, it all depends on the attitude, which is ultimately determined by God. Remember, “All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord.” (Proverbs 16:2).
Is there such a thing as biblical and non-biblical investing?
I certainly believe there is. Like all issues, I believe it is a matter of our hearts (which God can see and others cannot). Are we investing with a sense of responsibility? Are we investing with attributes of wisdom? Do we want to see the rewards of our investments be used to glorify God? Do we want to be faithful to God in the ways in which our money is put to work? An affirmative answer to those various questions serve as the guiding definition to Biblical or faith-based investing.
A rash, self-centered, unwise approach to investing provides us the definition of non-Biblical investing. To be as specific as possible, a Biblical approach to investing is one that seeks to grow capital as effectively as possible, while maintaining a motivation that is God glorifying, and a technique that is ethical and moral. One should not only consider the profit potential of an investment, but rather what is the source of the profit. Principles should always prevail!