How We Mirror God’s Image When We Invest Our Money
In the past investing has traditionally been viewed as a secular act. The expenditure of money, time, and talent in exchange for the expectation of suitable and appropriate profit. However, just as the most menial job transforms into the glorious work of worship when done for the glory of God, we too as investors have the opportunity to mirror the character and image of God in a unique and special way.
Throughout scripture we see an often overlooked attribute of God: God as an investor. In the beginning, we find God investing in creation through mankind, tasking his image bearers with the work of tending the earth and returning it filled and subdued. In Isaiah 55:11, we see that when God sends out his Word it does not return empty, but accomplishes His will and prospers wherever He sends it. In the famous Parable of the Talents, God reveals to us that He invests talents amongst his church expecting a yield above his principal investment, each according to what they were given. And, in the world’s greatest investment, we see God’s one and only son give everything in exchange for the joy that was set before Him. (Hebrews 12:2)
Just as God has invested in His creation, we too now have the opportunity to view our investing not as the simple act of gaining more material wealth in our 401Ks, IRAs, and Brokerage accounts, but as a way to partake in divine work alongside God. We find ourselves living out and fulfilling our commandment to fill the earth and subdue it. Investing Time, Talent, and Money to create value and bring about prosperity where there once was none.
Take the typical stock investment for example. When we invest our money into a company, we find ourselves fulfilling two commandments given to us in Scriptures. First, we are partaking in filling and subduing the Earth. Through our investment we have the reasonable expectation our dollars will be used in a productive way, creating value and human flourishing above what we have the ability to accomplish on our own. We can further raise our expectation of human flourishing if we choose companies who align with Biblically responsible values. Second, we find ourselves wisely using the monetary resources entrusted to us while avoiding the trap of idleness that the master’s servant fell victim to in the parable of the talents.
As Christians, when we engage in our work as a form of worship, our investing transforms from the neutral act of wisely allocating money to a divine act of partnering with God to bring “Thy kingdom come” to bear on our earth.
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Eric Schrum is an advisor and partner at Schrum Private Wealth Management. Eric contributes for The Faith First Advisor, The Faith Driven Investor, and has a particular interest in helping Christians align their finances with their beliefs through wise financial planning and investing.