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Christian Living

Finance

The Anomaly Investment

What if I told you about an investment that:

  • yields an extremely high return with zero risk
  • will pay lifetime dividends which increase exponentially after you die
  • will allow you to be working with a financial advisor who is always 100% certain of the future
  • is tax deductible while paying tax free dividends

“Such an investment doesn’t exist!” you would claim. “It flies in the face of all the conventional investing wisdom.  It would certainly be an anomaly.”

Right you are, but this investment really does exist.  Jesus was touting it 2000 years ago:

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.

Unfortunately, for most of us, these words have become stain glass scriptures.  We read them, nod our heads in agreement, and continue ignoring them.  Like stain glass, we admire their beauty but ignore their function.

Why We Ignore Treasure in Heaven

American Christians, while living in the wealthiest nation in history, give only 2.5% of their incomes to further God’s kingdom.  “Why”, I wonder, “don’t we take advantage of Jesus’ offer?”  I don’t claim to know all of the reasons, but here are a few:

1. We are short sighted.

We think a long term investment is for 20 or 30 years.  Wrong.  For life here on this earth, 30 years is indeed a long time, but when compared with the eternity of heaven, it is totally negligible.  Still, we will opt for our years on earth instead of planning for an eternity of treasures.  That is short sighted thinking.

2. We are afraid to let loose.

Jesus did not say to give every penny we ever touch.  He realizes a certain level of income is required for our basic needs and some of our wants.  However, he strongly advises us not to cling to earthly treasures which are laying around gathering dust ... "where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal".  Still, we all too often hang on to wealth which is over and above what we need or will ever need.  Why?  Because deep inside we have a dependence on a certain level of riches and a corresponding fear of turning loose.

3. We don’t really believe it.

We believe there is a heaven, but most Christians I know are extremely clueless about what heaven will be like.  I myself fall into that camp.  But I know this to be true: our eternity in heaven will be impacted by how well we invest in it here on earth. 

Why else would Jesus challenge us to "lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven?"   Somehow, when we reach heaven, those treasures are going to be there for us.  Do you believe it?

4. Our preachers don’t preach about giving.

I am not beating up on preachers here, but my experience is that they seldom preach about giving.  Maybe they feel like doing so is nagging.  Perhaps the annual pledge drive has become mundane.  They may feel awkward about soliciting more funds from the people who pay their salaries.  Or … it could be that they don’t fully buy into the “treasures in heaven” Jesus promises us.

4. We see few role models.

I realize that we normally don’t know (nor should we know) how much others give.  Still, I think it would be a great inspiration for us to discreetly hear from others who have been blessed by stretching their giving. 

I know when I read how John Wesley lived his entire life on the same income, while giving everything above that level away, I am inspired.  When I read how L. G. LeTourneau gave away 90% of his income, I inspired to stretch my giving further.

How about me?

I write this post just as much to myself as I do to you.  I have certainly not arrived in the area of giving, but I am always looking to grow in this area.  Are we storing treasures in heaven?  According to Jesus, we must be.  We will find out when that time comes, but, in the meantime, we are enjoying the dividends of joy, peace, and true security we are receiving here on earth.

Are you taking advantage of this anomaly investment?  Does this concept of giving today so you can receive a treasure in heaven sound a bit self serving?  If so, why do you think Jesus promoted it?

 

Article originally published on SeedTime.com and is being used with permission. Copyright 2019.

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