By Doug Hanson
Do you believe in God? A Gallup poll in 2017 determined that 87% of Americans do. Of course, it depends on how you interpret “believe”; 64% of Americans characterize their belief in God as certain, while the rest have varying degrees of doubt.
It is an important question because the answer determines your view of the world. An atheist does not believe in God. For an atheist, evolution brought us into existence and death will cease our existence. In contrast, a Christian believes that God is a personal Creator who created us to be in relationship with Him during our time on earth and for eternity: “Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him” (1 Corinthians 8:6).
But why are we talking about believing in God in an article about investing? Because our worldview determines how we live our lives. In Scripture we read of the two greatest commandments. The first is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and the second is to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39). Our lives – even our investing – should show our love for God and our love for our neighbors. Our heart often reflects our investments: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).
But how can we love God and love our neighbors in our investments? Jesus should be our model. In Luke 4:18, Jesus proclaims: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.” There is an important spiritual truth of Christ providing eternal freedom to those captured by sin. But there is also a physical application which challenges us to constructively enrich the lives of others, in recognition of our love for God and our love for others.
During Jesus’ time on earth, he did many great works: healed the lame (John 5), gave sight to the blind (John 9), healed the sick (Matthew 8), and fed the hungry (Matthew 14). He then had the audacity to tell us that “whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these” (John 14:12). Perhaps we accomplish this – not miraculously like Christ – but practically through the intelligence and resources that God has blessed us with. Consider the following:
Good news to the poor. Just as Jesus showed compassion for the materially poor (Luke 14:13), we can invest in businesses that provide low-interest loans for job creation, home ownership, and education for those distressed economically. On the flip side, we shouldn’t invest in businesses that take advantage of people through predatory lending (excessive interest rates). Jesus encourages us to love our neighbor, not gouge them.
Freedom for the prisoners. Many people are imprisoned by addiction to pornography, alcohol, or gambling. We should avoid investing in businesses that derive significant revenue from adult entertainment, manufacture of alcoholic beverages, or betting establishments and products. Let’s not help build the prisons of addiction. Studies have shown that an addiction to pornography can lead to human trafficking, resulting in more prisoners needing to be freed.
Sight for the blind. Our ability to heal is constantly improving through medical research and advancements in technology. Perhaps there is no more tangible way “to do greater works” than investing in companies that seek to expand our ability to heal through innovative products. Imagine using our resources purposefully and strategically to help more blind to see, more people to walk, and more ill to be healed.
Set the oppressed free. The most oppressed are the aborted unborn. The child in the womb has no way of fighting against the oppression – they are helpless victims. We can help give life to more unborn by not investing in companies that produce abortifacients (abortion pills) or provide abortions. The high value that Jesus placed on lives through His work on the cross should encourage us to value all lives – including the baby in the womb.
Our worldview dictates our actions. If we believe in God, then our lives should reflect that: “Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked” (1 John 2:6). Let’s walk as Jesus walked. We may not be miraculously healing others, but we can help heal others through our investments. Our investments can make a difference in the world. Let’s invest to improve lives!
Doug Hanson is an investment advisor with Christian Wealth Management in Boise, providing biblically responsible investment advice to Christians. For more information, visit investforthegloryofgod.com or contact him at [email protected] or (208) 697-3699.
Investment advisory services provided by Creative Financial Designs, Inc. Securities are offered through CFD Investments, Inc., Member FINRA & SIPC. 2704 South Goyer Road, Kokomo, IN 46902, 795-453-9600. Christian Wealth Management, LLC is not affiliated with CFD Investments, Inc. or Creative Financial Designs, Inc.