By Doug Hanson
Christians today can invest in companies that reflect biblical values in their products, practices, and philanthropy. However, a benefit that is often overlooked in Biblically Responsible Investing (BRI) is the impact on Christians when they seek to honor the Lord with their investments. I believe there are five benefits for believers when they morally screen their investments.
Benefit #1 – BRI increases our commitment to Christ. There are areas of our daily lives that we allow Christ in, but often there are areas where we do not. Our investing is one of those areas that we often overlook. I like to think of it in terms of painting rooms in a house. We may have several attractively painted ‘rooms’ (Bible study, attend church, pray), but there are rooms we haven’t bothered to paint (including investments). I believe that Proverbs 3:9 (“Honor the Lord with our wealth”) encourages us to paint that room. By considering the moral merits of where we invest, we are allowing Christ to influence yet another part of our lives. The more rooms we paint, the more our lives are focused on Christ.
Benefit #2 – BRI increases our wisdom in finances. I am a Christian financial advisor who uses moral screens to help Christians invest. I believe that 1 Corinthians 10:31 (“Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God”) encourages us to glorify God even in our investments. From my experience, when we seriously evaluate where we are invested, we take other financial principles in the Bible more seriously: be wary of debt (Proverbs 22:7), spend wisely (Proverbs 21:20), be generous (Proverbs 22:9), and many others. When we increase biblical scrutiny of our finances, we become wiser in our financial decisions.
Benefit #3 – BRI increases our impact on others. Investing to reflect our faith can open doors to sharing our faith. Think of the proverbial water cooler. When the discussion turns to the economy or the stock market, it opens a door for us to share where we are invested and why we are invested (1 Peter 3:15). Likewise, within our families, sharing our where and why can be a profound teaching moment to our children (Proverbs 22:6). When our children realize that we, as parents, are making God a priority even in our investments, that truth can influence our children for life as they make financial decisions.
Benefit #4 – BRI increases our contentment with money. If we take steps to screen our investments, we are, in a sense, turning our investments over to Christ. We are saying, “Lord, I want to glorify you in every aspect of my life, including my investments. Take them. They are yours!” Philippians 4:6 should become a reality to us in our investments: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Then, despite market performance, we have financial contentment, knowing that we have a heavenly Father who cares for us as we seek to live for Him (Matthew 6:33).
Benefit #5 – BRI increases our conviction to not sin. If we have taken the steps to not invest in companies that profit from pornography, then it should cause us pause if we consider looking at pornography. Since we have made a commitment in one part of our life about pornography, then we should have more fortitude to not fall prey to it elsewhere. Likewise, if we know the devastating effect that alcohol abuse can have on a family, and we’ve intentionally avoided investing in companies that derive most of their profits from the manufacture of alcohol, then we should be more diligent in avoiding vices in our lives.
However, we must be careful lest we conclude that Biblically Responsible Investing is the holy grail of godly living. Rather, we should think of it as another arrow in our quiver that encourages us to live for Christ. In the end, each of us must decide how we feel God is leading us to steward His blessings in our lives.
All information provided by Christian Wealth Management, LLC is for educational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice. Investment advisory services are provided by CWM Advisors, LLC and Creative Financial Designs, Inc. Securities are provided by CFD Investments, Inc. Member FINRA & SIPC. CWM Advisors, LLC is not an affiliate of CFD Investments Inc.