Did Coronavirus Bring Us Closer to God?

In April, at the peak of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, Americans who were already religious were polled with the question: Did coronavirus deepen your religious faith? Most say that it did, but because of the lockdown, there are no church attendance numbers to prove it. However, after 9/11 people packed the church pews! And after a couple of weeks passed, Sunday attendance settled back to milk toast numbers. 

Only time will reveal whether Dr. Anthony Fauci was right to bring on an economic depression with the lockdown or caused one of mankind’s most serious times of mental depressions in modern history. If the latter is true, we should all be turning toward God and not against our neighbor.

The Psalms of the Christian Bible remind us that God’s people struggled with both a sense of their world falling apart and their utter inability to deal with it during the time of King David. This young king of the United Monarchy of Israel and Judah is recorded in Psalm 57:2 to have said, 

Have mercy on me, God. In you I seek shelter.
In the shadow of your wings I seek shelter till harm passes by.

Many who have drawn closer to God during this unusual time have likely sheltered not “in place” or “socially distant” as much as they sheltered in the “shadow of God’s wings.”

Sadly, history also reveals that while disasters often restore us into the saving arms of our Creator, governments don’t let us stay there long enough for true life changing reflection and change. Instead, government seems to step in to provide relief from all physical, emotional and economic pain — often resulting in the loss of personal freedoms played out daily in the news. 

Taking God out of the economic component of our life is a fool’s errand. As you know, for this reason the Stewardship Foundation adheres to certain core beliefs that help to drive us toward a positive, life-affirming change in the world.

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages
teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness. [Matthew 9:35]

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.