Investing money is a practical part of life that can generate wealth and provide for the future. But what guidance does the Bible offer on this topic? As followers of Jesus Christ, we want to handle all areas of life, including finances, in a way that honors God and aligns with biblical principles. In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore key scriptures and glean important lessons on investing from a Christian perspective.
Money is a necessity but can also become an idol if mishandled. The Bible warns against loving money (1 Timothy 6:10) but does not condemn wise stewardship of resources. As with any area of life, God cares about our heart motivation and wants us to use what He has given for kingdom purposes.
Investing wisely is one way to be a good steward and provide for yourself and others. Done properly, it can fund ministry, help the poor, and leave an inheritance for your children’s children (Proverbs 13:22). Approaching investments biblically means seeking God’s wisdom, acting ethically, using money to create value for others, and relying on Him as the ultimate provider of lasting security.
Here are some key takeaways on what the Bible teaches regarding investing money:
- Seek God’s wisdom and discernment for decisions
- Be motivated by stewardship rather than greed
- Act ethically and avoid exploitation
- Create value and meet real needs through investment
- Focus on eternal rewards more than earthly gains
- Trust God as the ultimate source of security
The rest of this post will expand on these principles with relevant scriptures and practical application. Whether you currently invest or want to learn more about Christian financial stewardship, my prayer is this overview will provide biblical guidance and wisdom.
Seek God’s Wisdom and Discernment for Decisions
The book of Proverbs repeatedly advises seeking wisdom from the Lord to make sound decisions and gain understanding (Proverbs 2:6). This applies to investing and managing finances just as in other areas of life. We should pray for discernment and study scriptures related to stewardship, contentment, debt, wealth, and poverty. Wise investing requires effort and intention, not passive drift. “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty” (Proverbs 21:5).
As we seek God’s wisdom, we must guard against the deception of riches. It’s easy to be tempted by get-rich schemes that seem like a shortcut to wealth. But these often exploit the poor and lead to ruin (Proverbs 22:16). Scripture advises slow and steady wealth accumulation through work, saving, and careful investment: “Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense” (Proverbs 12:11). Quick money often disappears quickly and can deflect us from the path of righteousness.
Be Motivated by Stewardship Rather than Greed
Our heart motivation is key when investing or managing any resource entrusted to us by God. The Bible condemns accumulation of wealth for its own sake or out of envy and greed. “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15). Hoarding money reflects distrust in God’s provision. Ecclesiastes 5:10 says, “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.”
Instead, we should be motivated by a desire to steward resources well for the purposes God intends. “So then each of us will give an account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12). Wise investing aligns with God’s big picture plan to redeem all things, including finance and business, for His glory. Our heart should echo Paul’s conviction that “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need” (Philippians 4:11-12).
Act Ethically and Avoid Exploitation
Scripture clearly instructs us to avoid profiting from exploitation or fraud: “Whoever multiplies his wealth by interest and profit gathers it for him who is generous to the poor” (Proverbs 28:8). Unethical investment schemes may offer quick returns but will ultimately result in judgment. “Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice” (Proverbs 16:8).
Investing ethically includes supporting companies whose practices align with biblical values of life, justice, and witness for the gospel. It means avoiding industries that profit from addiction, violence, sexual exploitation, or other sins. We must also consider how investments impact people locally and globally by factoring in environmental stewardship and fair labor practices in addition to financial returns.
Micah 6:8 gives helpful direction: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Ethical investing tries to do justice through carefully stewarding resources within God’s moral boundaries.
Create Value and Meet Real Needs Through Investment
The Bible praises industriousness, creativity, and meeting real needs as forms of stewardship that bless others. “She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong” (Proverbs 31:16-17). Honorable investments create value through starting a profitable business, funding new technologies, revitalizing dilapidated properties, or providing venture capital for constructive endeavors.
In contrast, dishonest gain manipulates money like a gambler or charges exorbitant interest like a loan shark. True investing participates in God’s creative purpose for the material world. Just as He declared His original work of creation “good,” we take raw materials and ideas and develop them to their highest potential. This creates wealth and employment that blesses many. “He who tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who guards his master will be honored” (Proverbs 27:18). There is dignity when our work and investment bear fruit that benefits others.
Focus on Eternal Rewards More Than Earthly Gains
Since all our money and possessions remain on earth when we die, Jesus instructed us to store up eternal treasures instead: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20).
Investment decisions centered on earthly profit alone can easily become unbalanced. But keeping an eternal perspective leads to actions that bless others and brings reward in heaven. “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
Trust God as the Ultimate Source of Security
In our materialistic culture, it is tempting to make money and investment returns our first hope for security. But as followers of Christ, we know true security is found in our loving Heavenly Father. “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?…For your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:25-33).
When markets fluctuate and investments underperform, those who derive their sense of security from a portfolio rather than the presence of God grow fearful. In contrast, our security rests in our identity and worth in Christ that can never be taken away. “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:26).
This eternal perspective allows patience and steadiness in investing since we know God is in control. “Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked” (Psalm 37:16). We can have confidence He will supply our needs and give wisdom for decisions when we seek His kingdom first.
We have covered many biblical principles for investing money including seeking God’s wisdom, avoiding greed, acting ethically, creating value for others, focusing on eternal rewards, and trusting God as our provider. Implementing these will require intention and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, but they allow investing to be another area where we honor Christ.
My prayer is this overview gives you a solid foundation for evaluating investments and stewarding finances based on timeless scriptural truths. As we heed wisdom from the Word of God, we can have peace and purpose in how we manage the resources He has given us during our time on this earth. Ultimately, everything belongs to Him; we are simply stewards. May God grant each of us wisdom as we seek to steward well what He has entrusted to us for His glory.