” The Savvy Investor” is the subject of my blog today. Investing is important to all of us. I had to brace myself before opening my IRA retirement account recently. I reassured myself and my wife that the double-digit percentage loss is “only on paper” and we don’t need that money right now.
Perhaps you are also concerned about some of your financial investments; an empty building you need to rent out, taxes and insurance you are paying on a vehicle or a “toy” that isn’t providing a good ROI. Most of us probably have “second thoughts” or regrets about something we’ve invested in that isn’t serving us well. But before we chase this rabbit too far, I want to redirect our thinking to a deeper and more substantive conversation about why and how we have become the investors we are.
“The Investor” is you. Are you a savvy investor? I’m making the assumption that you are actively engaged in some form of investing. Before you object by saying something like, “I don’t invest in the stock market, I don’t own rental property, etc.” let me remind you that to invest is to use something we have with the idea of getting something in return. Some of our investing takes place in the routine activities of life. Other investments involve calculation and planning.
There are three questions I want you to consider as we delve a little deeper into the idea of ourselves as investors.
First, what do you and I have to invest? We invest money for in all kinds of living expenses such as food, clothing, housing, healthcare, education, and charities. We also have time, talents, and energies to invest in family, friendships, church activities, sleeping, working, tv, reading, and many other things.
As followers of Jesus we are called to invest our entire life (money, time, talents, and energies) in his kingdom’s work. This is what Paul means in Romans 12:1 when he challenges us “to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God…”
God has made an astounding and risky investment in us, He has given His Son to save us from the penalty and power of our sin. Do you understand what this implies about those of us who profess Jesus as our savior?
In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Paul raises an important question to remind us of the need to pay attention to how we invest our lives. ” Do you not know….that you are not your own? You have been bought with a price.” We are Christ’s precious possession and all that we have ultimately belongs to Him.
In my new book I write about “Five Truths That Can Change Your Life.” The truth that is foundational to what I’m trying to say here is this: YOUR LIFE IS A TIME-SENSITIVE TRUST FROM GOD. God has saved us and has, for our brief lifetime, entrusted money, possessions, time, and talent to us. For more detail on this, look a this blog I did a few weeks ago https://www.cosdavis.com/investing-in-the-things-that-matter-most/
The second question is: How did you become the investor you are today? You invest your money, time, and energies in the things and people you value most. All of us do it, we invest in what we care most about. Jesus said as much in Matthew 6:21 “Where you treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Our heart is attached to our treasure. What we do with our money, time, talent, and energies is determined by the condition of our heart. Take a moment to think about this: where is your heart? What matters most to you depends on the values you have chosen to live by.
This brings back to the second question: How did you become the investor you are today? Since the way we invest is a function of our values, it is important to understand where we get our values.
Each of us was influenced by the values of the family in which we grew up. Perhaps you had good examples of honesty, hard work, compassion, and other biblical teachings modeled for you. Or , you may have grown up in a home of broken promises, dishonesty, and scheming. You didn’t get to choose the values that your parents had but you do get to choose the values by which you now live.
I grew up in what I view as a Christian home but because of circumstances I discuss in my book, I struggled for many years with the biblical teaching such as Matthew 6: 33 that God would take care of me.
I could say the right words but the value of depending on God to take care of me as he does the birds and the flowers took a long time to make it into my heart. While I trusted God with my time and energies, I have spent many years too concerned about money. Too tight, too stingy, too anxious.
Thankfully, this value has changed, is changing to a more biblical view and I am much more at peace with the fact that God is taking much better care of me than I could take care of myself.
How about you? What has influenced the kind of investor you are? What do you need to evaluate in light of biblical teachings? How much of heaven’s value system is in control in your life? How much does the world have a hold on you?
Here’s the third question: How do your investments line up with heaven’s values? What are you saying to God when you pray this phrase in the model prayer, ” Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” To me it means that I want to do those things and live in a way that are consistent with God’s perfect will.
What are some of heaven’s values? How should they influence the way I invest the time, money, energies, and gifts God has placed in my care?
Think about these things:
- Am I becoming more like Jesus in my attitudes and actions?
- Do I love God above all else and my neighbor as my self?
- Are there ways in which I invest my time, money, and energies on things that dishonor Jesus?
- Am I thoughtful and proactive in daily investing my life in ways that honor Christ?
Parenting tip: Bring up your child to honor Christ is one of the most important investments you can make. Check out these books I’ve written to help you. Parenting With a Purposehttps://cosdavis.com/product/parenting-with-a-purpose and Children and the Christian Faithhttps://cosdavis.com/product/children-and-the-christian-faith