Sunday, July 16, 2006

Wise Investing

“There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth: and there is that witholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.” (Prov.11:24)

Helen Keller said,“I will not just live my life. I will not just spend my life. I will invest my life.” There is a vast difference between the three. Some simply live their lives as consumers, taking whatever comes their way. Others are willing to put forth—spend—in an effort to better their circumstances. Then, thank God, there are those who are wise enough invest in something and someone outside themselves.

To invest is to devote, allot, set aside, endow, supply, or enable. The “vest” portion tells us that the root word indicates the idea of literally clothing another with money or power, etc. We are taking something of ours and giving it to another person or entity, so that individual or group of individuals can do what could not be done otherwise. It is an enablement.

Three principles come to mind immediately as being a part of the practice of investment. First: One must decide whether or not the investment is worth the risk, because that is the second principle: There will always be a risk involved. Investment of any kind is “betting” on the future, in which there is always some degree of uncertainty. Third: We must be willing to wait for the dividends. And things can look pretty shaky for awhile.

What are you investing in? What am I? Or are we investing in anything, or, more importantly, anyone, at all? That is the main emphasis of my thoughts to you today—people. Are we investing in others or ourselves? If I invest in me, everything fizzles when I am gone. But if I am spending more time and effort on being a force for good in the lives of others than I am enhancing my own image and prestige, I just might generate a windfall when I am gone!

Personally, I have always felt that as a wife and mother, the wisest investment I ever made was in the lives of my husband, children, and grandchildren. And the dividends just keep rolling in. Oh, I know mine was not the only investment made in their lives, but I still claim to be a major shareholder! Solomon says in Proverbs that withholding what should be invested leads to poverty; while on the other hand, scattering it will bring increase. If that be true of money, it is doubly true of a life. For that reason, I will die a rich woman, even if I am buried in a pine box.

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