Principles for the Christian Investor

Does “Christian investing” differ from investing in general? Should Christians avoid all risk or refuse to invest in certain companies that do not support Christian causes?

While some might disagree with me, I believe that the essence of a biblical approach to investing begins with an attitude of the heart, rather than a list of do’s and don’ts. The heart attitude and the number one priority for a Christian investor is to glorify God with our money.

The following are biblical principals which I hope will guide your thinking and your actions in glorifying God as a Christian investor.

• Since I have nothing that was not given to me, I have no basis for pride,
only gratitude.
For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did
not receive? (1 Cor. 4:7)

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ
Jesus. (Phil. 4:19)

Along with wealth come management responsibilities, not ownership
rights. Being a steward requires me to live with an eye on eternity at all times.

So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust
you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s
property, who will give you property of your own? (Luke 16:11-12)

If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and
follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his
life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world,
yet forfeits his soul? (Matt. 16:24-26)

• My primary management responsibility is to be available to God for Him to
 give through me, so that His will is accomplished.

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and
it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit.
(John 15:7-8)

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
(1 Cor. 10:31)

• Wealth is extremely dangerous. It is spiritually devastating to
those who seek it, and must be handled with great care by the Christian investor.

People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish
and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of
money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered
from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Tim. 6:9-10)

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put
their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who
richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. (1 Tim. 6:17)

• I’m called to live fully in each day, not in the future. God evaluates the
faithfulness of my management based on what I do with what I have now,
not what I might do someday if I have more.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be
given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow. (Matt. 6:33-34)

His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful
with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your
master’s happiness!” (Matt. 25:21)

• I should manage with a sense of urgency. Later may be too late.

Do you not say, “Four months more and then the harvest”? I tell you, open your
eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the reaper draws
his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life. (John 4:35-36)

As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming,
when no one can work. (John 9:4)

• God has built the law of sowing and reaping into the fabric of the universe.

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever
sows generously will also reap generously. (2 Cor. 9:6)

We speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God
destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood
it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However,
as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Cor. 2:7-9)

• Giving is a matter of the heart. God looks at our intentions, not our gifts.

The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward
appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. (1 Sam. 16:7)

Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or
under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful [hilarious] giver. And God is able to
make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that
you need, you will abound in every good work. (2 Cor. 9:7-8)

• It is not difficult to put aside earthly wealth when you have the LORD is your highest treasure.

Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted,
where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Luke 12:32-34)