What if I told you that God was the very first investor and that we get to carry on his legacy?
That may sound strange at first. I mean, God has it all. Everything in and on and above the Earth belongs to Him. So what would He gain by investing?
What Does it Mean for God to Invest?
Let’s start with the meaning of investing. Merriam-Webster defines an investment as “the outlay of money usually for income or profit.” This, of course, is true. But I would argue that it’s not quite complete.
Before Merriam-Webster, there was Samuel Johnson. He wrote A Dictionary of the English Language in 1755, which was the pre-eminent lexicon of the English language until the arrival of the Oxford English Dictionary 150 years later. Dr. Johnson defined “to invest” as “to dress, to clothe, to array.”
Shakespeare had another use for this word. In addition to using it as Samuel Johnson defined it in his play As You Like It, he also used this term to mean “to grant a right or power” in King Lear.
Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, would have understood this term as “to clothe in the symbols of office or honor.”
What does this walk through history tell us? Before the phrase “to invest” evolved into its modern meaning, it would have better translated into “the clothing of a person for holy work.”
How does this change our view of God as an Investor?
How Has God Invested In You?
God has clothed you for a holy work. 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation….”
For most people, their first thought in the morning isn’t, “I am a priest.” Nevertheless, as the Bible tells us, we have a holy work of a spiritual state. We deal in a finite world of investing, but it’s an infinite game. There is a beauty and a richness in our role in eternity.
This is how God invests in us. God has clothed us with righteousness and called us to rule on His behalf. And this is something we can carry out every day.
Why Does God Lead Us to Invest?
Let’s look again at our dictionary definition of investment. “The outlay of money usually for income or profit.” While the scriptures often warn against avarice and materialism, the pursuit of profit is not inherently wrong. Just take the Parable of the Talents, for example. Jesus uses the example of stewards who make a profit as an illustration for faithfulness in the Christian life.
As we are invested in, so also can we invest. Today, there are two approaches to profit. We can follow the world’s standard and be greedy, hostile, and passive. Or, we can embrace the righteousness, authority, and goodwill with which God has clothed us, and our investments can work toward earth looking a little more like heaven.
We can approach profit through the lens of eternity with values-based investing.
Biblical & Values-Based Investing
Values-based investing views God as the owner. Everything we have been given is a blessing that can be stewarded to invest in God’s Kingdom. It’s not just about which companies make money, but also how they make it.
Some companies fill a need and truly bless humanity. Others profit from products or services that do not align with biblical values.
When you invest in accordance with biblical principles, you build a legacy that honors the Lord. We help individuals and couples reach their financial goals by investing in what matters most to them.
Reach out to an advisor today to learn more about values-based investing.
Want to expand your knowledge about investing in alignment with biblical principles? Read more!