Reap What You Sow

When you decide to invest for your financial future, what do you consider to be important? Do you want to accumulate money for retirement or to purchase something big, like real estate? Do you need money to get your children through college or to start a business? You may also think about your risk tolerance, impact on taxes, and personal comfort zone. As Stephen Covey says, always start with the end in mind.

For Christian investors, this saying may have a deeper meaning.

Reap What You Sow

As investors, we ask ourselves these questions:

  1. What is the best use of my money? Should I invest now or use my income to pay off or avoid debt?
  2. What is my objective for investing? Do I want safety, long-term appreciation, or high gains? 
  3. Where and how much should I invest at my age? Should I invest while I’m young, have more disposable income, and can recover should my investment choices fail? Or should I wait until middle age when I am making more money and thinking of retirement?
  4. How much time do I have before I need to turn my investments into cash for living expenses? 

As Christian investors, we may also ask:

  1. How does God want me to invest my money? We should be good stewards by investing wisely, a concept emphasized in the Parables of the Talents in Mathew 25:14-30
  2. What investment opportunities should I seek? Our investment objective should always be to make the world a better place. No one can serve two masters. We cannot serve God and worship money at the same time, as we read in Luke 16:8-13
  3. What should be my attitude about the future? Keep a wise and humble attitude about the future and avoid boasting about wealth. Proverbs 27:1
  4. Can I be sure my investments will be profitable? Trust in God and make thoughtful choices about investments. Romans 8:29

Someone paraphrased the challenge of Christian life as “living in the world without being part of it.” There are no easy answers as to how to do this except in Scripture. Understanding God’s Word on wealth, money, and stewardship may not offer financial success, but we will all reap and sow more confidently by investing according to His teachings.

A Bird in Hand

There’s a saying that “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” Generally, this means that we prefer a “sure thing” over uncertainty. In investing, there’s a theory called “bird in hand” that says investors prefer stock dividends over potential capital gains because capital gains are not a sure thing. The “bird in the hand” theory came from the argument that investors don’t care where their returns come from, they simply care that they are either high or safe returns.

Everyone with money to invest wants the safest yet highest possible returns. This is simply smart investing. What makes the Stewardship Foundation different is that the “bird in the hand” —safe financial investments — has an added component. We add the importance of appreciating the blessings of life through financial stewardship and charitable giving. 

We believe that this guiding force gives us and our clients a vision and purpose beyond the money. We offer advice that helps you grow in faith and keeps you accountable to biblical principles. The payoff goes beyond certainty of financial gain and security. It adds contentment, confidence and commitment to the greater good, and increases our wealth for the good of all.

The Simple Polish Nun

The story of a young Polish woman, Faustyna Kowalska, whose visions of Jesus Christ inspired devotion to the Divine Mercy is compelling, especially for those of us who have felt “led” to perform an act of mercy for someone else. Now, her story has been brought to the big screen in a very limited engagement in theaters in the U.S.

At just seven years old, Faustina felt a calling to the religious life. At 19, she had a vision of the suffering Jesus. Without even asking her parents’ permission, she responded by boarding a train for Warsaw with only the clothes on her back in order to join a convent. After multiple refusals, one mother superior finally gave her a chance if she was willing to work as a housemaid and pay her own way.

Movie portrayal of St. Faustina

Faustina eventually met the priest who was to become her confessor and encouraged her to write down in her diary her mystical experiences with the Christ Jesus. She wrote that Jesus appeared to her wearing a white garment with red and pale rays emanating from His heart, then ask her to paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature “Jesus, I trust in You.” He promised that those who venerate the image will not perish. It was done, even thought she did not know how to paint.

How the image came to be painted, and how its image has changed the lives of those who venerate it up to this day is revealed in the movie Love and Mercy, now at local theaters for a very limited time. Access The Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska book.

The Christmas season is an excellent time to learn and reflect on our own relationship with the Christ Jesus story. See the movie trailer and make up your own mind about whether you feel “led” to know more. Just click the Watch Trailer button in the Love and Mercy link above.

Blessings on this Christmas Season from all of us at the Stewardship Foundation.