“Nobody knows what the stock market is going to do or even what it ought to do. Hence, the most valuable asset in all business, which is knowledge, is necessarily absent.” – Edwin Lefevre.
The stock market makes little sense to the person who doesn’t spend all day trying to learn the ins and outs of the market. The stock market can be one of the most confusing places on earth and difficult to explain. So most people don’t try to fully understand it.
Is it bullish or bearish? Is the Federal Reserve on the right track or not? Hold or liquidate? What stocks to buy? What industry, etc? If we have a human financial planner managing our money, we can assume that they are experts and know what they are doing. They will buy and sell stocks in an attempt to buy when cheap and sell when the stock prices are high. But regardless of how good their track record may be, we still can take or ignore their advice if we choose.
As important as financial advice from Wall Street is, there’s a much more understandable and reliable resource on how to manage our money in 2023. That resource is the Bible. Jesus has a lot to say on the subject of money. And if you want financial advice from the best financial planner, see what the Lord had to say about money in the Bible.
But we can ignore God’s advice just as readily as we ignore a financial player’s advice. God repeatedly challenges us to trust Him with our finances, promising that when we give Him our first and best, He will bless the rest. There’s only one place in the Bible where God told His followers to test Him. In the book of Malachi 3:10, when teaching about generosity, God said, “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!” But it’s not just about money. When it comes to our finances, what God really wants for us is our hearts and our trust.
God has a better, wiser way to manage money. It is counterintuitive to what we believe we should be doing which is why His plan requires faith. The key to His strategy is not to make more but to give more. “And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35). When we give God the first part of our money, He will manage the rest. This requires faith, but He is faithful.
As we near the middle of 2023, we need to ask not only whether our investments did well, but we have we been rich toward God. Have we been generous toward those who need to see God’s love through our support and care? We want our money to reveal our love for God, His kingdom, His priorities, and His people.
- How can God be the financial planner in our lives?
- What can we do this week to be more prudent with our money?