Small Group Questions

Making Change – Tomorrow Matters  

Introduction:

When we recognize that tomorrow matters, it will change the way we live today and it will change the way we handle money. In this message, we discover investing principles detailed for us in scripture that create the conditions in which stewardship can flourish.

Bottom line: Saying “no” to what I want now so I can say “yes” to what I want even more tomorrow. 

Something To Talk About:

Forward thinking and forward planning matters because tomorrow matters. When we recognize that tomorrow matters, what will it do? It will change the way we live today.  We will change the way we handle money today. And it will change the way we invest for the future. Proverbs 21:20 illustrates the principle that tomorrow matters: “The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.” Consider the following three ideas when you invest in the future:         

  1. Don’t invest in things you don’t understand: Billionaire Wall Street icon and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett has taught this lesson over the years: “Never invest in a business you cannot understand.” In this way, he doesn’t expose himself or Berkshire investors to the risks associated with investing in something he doesn’t fully understand or appreciate. It may seem like common sense for people not to invest in things they don’t understand. Unfortunately, it happens a lot. The thousands of investors who bought mortgage-backed securities during the recent housing bubble are an excellent example of this type of behavior. Investors had no idea many of those securities contained such low-quality loans. Of course, we can’t understand all the moving parts of investments, but we can substantially reduce risks by sticking to our core competencies and avoiding things we know we don’t understand well. “A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense.Through knowledge its rooms are filled with all sorts of precious riches and valuables.” (Proverbs 24:3-4)
  2. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket: We work long and hard to save and invest for the future. That is why it is so important to diversify and avoid risking everything on a few investments. In other words, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Diversification minimizes the chances that the ups and downs of the economy and stock market volatility results in the loss of your entire nest egg, By diversifying your investments, you decrease the chance that all your investments will experience the same negative economic forces at the same time. Ecclesiastes 11:2 says, “But divide your investments among many places, for you do not know what risks might lie ahead.”
  3. Don’t try to get rich quick: Warren Buffett has some additional advice for investors: Get over yourself. Stop thinking that there’s a magical secret formula for making tons of money overnight, and that you can discover it because you’re not the run-of-the-mill investor out there. Buffett adds, ”It’s pretty easy to get well-to-do slowly. But it’s not easy to get rich quick.” Basically Buffett is saying is that when it comes to getting rich, slow and steady wins the race.” The golden rule of investing is to think long-term. Ask yourself what matters more: Today’s value or tomorrow’s returns? Paul was discipling young Timothy and he told him this in 1st Timothy, 6:9. He said, “But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.”

Discussion Questions:

  1. Your relationship with money impacts your relationships with people. Agree or disagree and why?
  2. Why do you think it’s so hard to save and invest? Do you have any ideas or tips that have made saving and investing more doable for you?
  3. Does anyone have an investment success or horror story? What did you learn?
  4. What will your life look like in 30 years if you start saving and investing more now? What if you don’t?
  5. What are the strongest barriers keeping you from either saving or investing more? What can you do right away to make some progress?
  6. What kind of non-financial investments are you seeing dividends from?
  7. In financial terms, when we invest wisely, we get a financial reward. In spiritual terms, what do you think happens when we invest all that Jesus has entrusted to us? What might that look like in your life?

Take One Thing Home with You:

What would your answer be if you were asked the following question: What do you want in life? In many ways, how you answer that question will determine the future you pursue and the investments you make to secure that future. The reality is that there is no use praying to have something better tomorrow if you’re not willing to make some investments today. If you’re praying for better children, what investment are your putting into them. If you’re praying for a better job, what investments are you making. If you’re praying for a more secure retirement, what investments are you making. If you’re praying to grow in God, what investments are your making. To have the future we desire we need to make the investments in that future today.