In the previous two articles in this series, we talked about the concept of Jesus’ “two kingdoms” and how they apply to the world of investing. Business owners and investors have a choice – they can contribute to Jesus’ Kingdom of abundance, where their work contributes to the betterment of humanity. Or, they choose to extract value from the earth and its people, contributing to the kingdom that “steals and destroys.”
God offers us a choice between the two, but He does not make it easy. As He warns us from the beginning, the kingdom of evil is wrapped in pretty packaging. The kingdom that steals and destroys does so by extracting value for personal gain. It offers short-term abundance and wealth, but in doing so takes away from our neighbors and the betterment of the world at large. It takes away from our children’s futures and our long-term happiness. As investors, it is essential that we choose the Kingdom of Heaven to ensure our money not only brings us personal security and wealth but that it does so in a way that helps those around us.
However, there is still a question left to be answered:
Are investors really responsible for the unintended consequences of their choices?
Many investors are solely putting their money into “the market,” and don’t ever consider that what companies do and don’t do could be part of their responsibility. Think about how Jesus taught. Every choice we make determines which Kingdom we are nurturing. By avoiding responsibility, we are complicit and equally culpable for the parts of the world that we wish were different.
Think of it another way. Is a parent responsible for their child’s bad grades or behavioral problems in school? Maybe not directly, especially if they are not notified of their child’s struggles in class. But, if they are aware of the problem and don’t aim to help, they forfeit their opportunity to be part of the solution.
You are not responsible for the evil in the world that you cannot see or cannot change. But, once our eyes are open, we believe we have a responsibility to God and to our neighbors to make the changes we want to see in the world. Investing in brands you believe in is just one way to honor this responsibility.
Do you really want your children to grow up in a world where business practices you don’t agree with are thriving? Probably not, and as an investor, you have the power to change that. By taking responsibility for the parts of the world you can change, you foster an environment where your brothers, sisters, and neighbors can thrive. The long-term satisfaction you receive from this meaningful contribution to the world is better than anything short-term financial gains can provide.
OneAscent provides a clear path toward responsible investing that provides meaning in your life. Instead of focusing on short-term financial goals, we create an investment plan that considers your personal legacy as the most important aspect of your portfolio. Wealth only lasts so long, but the good you do in the world will have positive effects for untold periods of time.
To get started in building a portfolio made for Kingdom Impact, talk to a OneAscent advisor today.