new life fellowship

serving jesus christ the king

Not half greedy enough

Over a year ago I wrote an article entitled “Money will spit you out”. In it I said:

“Money is a cruel master. It will ultimately disappoint. And when it has sucked you dry it will spit you out, either broke, or dissatisfied with all your toys.”

I’m not claiming prophetic powers, for it was plain that it was only a matter of time before everything fell apart. Nor am I saying somewhat sanctimoniously, “I told you so”.

Yet what are we to make of the current economic downturn? Are we just to sit tight and hope for the best?

What is the little downward sloping line on the investment charts and the currency markets saying to us? It could be a lifeline. At the very least it is a gracious reminder from a loving God that money and possessions aren’t what life is all about. When things are going well we can fall into the trap of thinking that we are self-sufficient, that we don’t really need God.

And not only that—we are investing in the wrong stuff. We save for what perishes. We would pity a child who spent all his money on cream buns, hoarding them in a cupboard in his room. We know that one day he will open the cupboard to find a decaying mass of blue-moulded remnants.

And yet we invest in stuff that doesn’t last. Warren Buffet is one of the world’s richest men, and wisest investors—he has outperformed the stockmarket by 250,000 per cent over four decades. He has six principles that he applies to every investment. His sixth is that, “The investment must have attractive long-term prospects; an investment able to generate and sustain above-average returns over the long term.”

In shaking our faith in the financial securities of this world God is throwing us lifeline to reinvest in what has the most attractive long-term prospects. He offers forgiveness, eternal life, and best of all, Himself.

Ironically, our problem is that that we aren’t greedy enough! We settle for the short-term, low-return, unstable yields of this life instead of investing in the long-term, high-interest, rock solid return of the Kingdom of God.

The usual problem with greed is that it means that others have to do without, and that we can’t hope to enjoy all that we have in the time available. But what if God promised that there was more than enough for everyone who came to him, and he promised enough time to enjoy all that we got? Would such ‘greed’ be wrong?

Of course it’s not really greed, it’s having a right appreciation of the true value of things. And this investment has unrivalled long-tem prospects.

If we stopped the little boy buying cream buns, and showed him other more valuable and lasting investments? Would we be cruel or kind?

Likewise, has God brought this downturn, among other reasons, to cause us to re-evaluate what truly matters?

Having identified a great investment, Buffett then says that his ‘favourite holding period is forever’. That’s the sort of investment you want—one that you can bank on forever. And that’s what Jesus offers.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” – Matthew 6:19-20