There’s a proverb in the agricultural community that advises farmers to grow what they know. No doubt, good advice. For farming is risky enough, without adding to it by making an investment in something you know nothing about. However, this is exactly what so many of us do when it comes to our stewardship. For example, some of the key financial principals I speak on at town-halls can also be applied to us spiritually. Ideally, when we make an investment, we should know what we’re investing in. Likewise, when we understand the profound investment God has made in each of us, we are positioned to make better decisions that ultimately help us G.R.O.W. in our stewardship & Kingdom impact:
Goals: The first step before making any investment is determining your goals. What do we desire to achieve? For example, is it to retire by a certain age, pay for a wedding, buy a home and/or pursue an advanced education? As Christians, what are our goals for Jesus? Consider – are all our goals self-focused, or do we possess goals to grow in our faith, our trust in God and our impact for Christ (Philippians 3:13-14)?
Risk Tolerance: Once we know our goals, we can best determine the steps necessary to achieve them. However, this involves knowing how much risk we are willing to take. For example, knowing how much financial risk we’re comfortable with greatly determines the investment options we have. Likewise, how much risk we’re willing to take for Jesus, greatly impacts the options and opportunities we get entrusted with. Will we choose to limit ourselves and our opportunities, or will we trust God and surrender ourselves fully with “reckless abandonment” for Christ (Luke 14:33)?
Options: Once we know our risk tolerance, we can begin reviewing our remaining choices. In financial terms, this may mean we’re limited to shoving our cash under a mattress, or it could be more expansive to include saving accounts, CDs, bonds and/or stocks. Spiritually speaking, how many Kingdom options has our risk tolerance allowed God to give us? Will we stretch to serve, steward and sacrifice for Him in all we do, or have we chosen to restrict ourselves to sitting, soaking and souring like the servant who fearfully buried his talent(s) in the ground (Matthew 25:25-29)?
Work It: This is the most vital component we have. If we don’t engage our options and actually do something with what we’ve been given, it’s meaningless. Likewise, if we don’t engage for the gospel, mix our faith with our actions and actually go where He sends us and do what He asks us, nothing happens (Hebrews 4:2). Potential goes to waste and “what could have beens” are all that remain.
Application: “Miss The Risk” – Psalms 40:4-5
We can miss the risk of “missing out” by investing time in prayer to solidify our Kingdom goals, surrendering our wills to God, discerning the opportunities He gives us and then committing ourselves to action. This process not only establishes sound stewardship behaviors, but more importantly, it helps us avoid missing out on the many adventures God prepares for us – all designed for His glory and our eternal benefit.