Investing and Ownership
“Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it” (Prov. 13:11).- Proverbs 13:11
All of us, whether we are rich or poor, have a limited amount of money that can be spent. A dollar spent in one place is a dollar that cannot be spent elsewhere. Allocating the finite means God has given to us takes wisdom, especially in a culture that embraces instant gratification and lives beyond its means.
Chronic indebtedness is the sad reality for many Americans, and while some of this is due to things beyond our control like medical emergencies, most of it results from our desire to have everything right now. Yet regular borrowing so that we can spend more than we take in creates all sorts of problems. We can have it now and pay for it later, but the interest rate can mean we are still paying decades afterward for something we cannot afford right now.
On the other hand, compounding interest can work in our favor. Living below our means and investing the difference can create a nest egg that can be used to provide for ourselves after we stop working full-time, further the work of the kingdom, and give an inheritance to our children. As today’s passage indicates, even those of low means can usually build more if they prudently allocate their resources and make wise choices with their money.
Many passages in Scripture warn us about instant gratification and encourage us to invest for the future. The prodigal son offers an excellent example of how wealth can be easily squandered (Luke 15:11–32), and the parable of the talents helps us see the importance of wisely putting all our resources (time, money, and so on) to work for us (Matt. 25:14–30). He is a fool who is hasty with what he has and gives no consideration to the future (Prov. 21:5), and righteous parents endeavor to leave an inheritance for their children (13:22).
The wise allocation and investment of our resources helps us participate in ownership, which is usually how people build wealth. Owning property or stock in a solid company, even if only a small amount, can help generate wealth that can be used in a variety of godly ways. Buying quality products that will last saves money in the long run and is another wise investment of our resources.
Joseph of Arimathea was a rich man and devoted disciple of Jesus (Matt. 27:57–61). It is not inherently evil to be wealthy or even to seek to grow our means — if we remember that wealth is a means to the end of glorifying God and not an end in itself. Seek to live below your means and invest your resources wisely that they may grow. Then take these increased resources and give them to the work of the kingdom and build an inheritance for your children.
Passages for Further Study
1 Peter 1:3–5