What Matters in the End?
Investing with integrity means your money works to achieve both of these distinct yet highly compatible objectives. Your money can be put to work achieving your personal financial objectives, such as creating a secure and comfortable future for yourself, caring for and educating your family, and also be aligned with your beliefs and values. A biblically responsible approach to investing helps your money perform both tasks without compromise.
Let me share what I have discovered in my journey with Christ and what truly matters in the end. First, as a Christian, I am to be aware, awake, and conscious of what I do with my life and live it on purpose.
“Awake to righteousness, and do not sin.” — 1 Corinthians 15:34a (NKJV)
And to care for my neighbor, put others before myself, turn away from sin and separate myself from those that embrace sin, including sexual immorality, drunkenness, greed, laziness, gluttony, murder, stealing.
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” — Ephesians 5:11 (NKJV)
I am to be careful not to put myself in a relationship with those who don’t hold the same values God has instilled in me — especially one where I have little or no control.
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” — 2 Corinthians 6:14 (NKJV)
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.” — Psalm 1:1 (NKJV)
God’s desire is that I embrace the example of His love and put behind me the misguided values of my life before Christ.
“Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’” — 1 Peter 1:13-16 (NKJV)
And in everything I do, glorify God.
“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” — 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NKJV)
And that is why the knowledge of faith-based investing should be very important to a Christian, because in the Bible God commands us: “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits.’ Awake to righteousness, and do not sin” (1 Corinthians 15:33-34a, NKJV).
The bottom line is this: By owning stocks that produce, provide or promote biblically offensive activities, I am participating in these sins.
- If these activities cause others to sin, I as a stock owner of that company am responsible for causing such stumbling.
- If the company’s value increases because my stock purchase, and that of others, bid the stock up, then we have contributed to the growth of a company that is offending God.
- If such companies give financial donations to organizations involved in biblically offensive activities, I have participated in funding the enemies of God.
Why is faith-based investing important? Because I am commanded by God to sin no more, and my stock ownership unequally yokes me to the corporate sin of the company in which I have purchased ownership.
If our lives as Christians are to honor God, then our actions cannot compromise that objective. I personally have come to a point in my life where I realize every action is either an act of worship or an act of rebellion against the one true God. This includes my actions regarding money, possessions and investments.
Mark Minnella is president and co-founder of the National Association of Christian Financial Consultants. He designed the first faith-based professional designation program, Christian Financial Consultant and Advisor, in the industry. He has extensive background as a leader in the faith-based investment movement, is the founder of Integrity Investors, LLC, and the author of The Wall Street Awakening.