The following is a guest post from John Gowan. John is the principal financial consultant at Financial Legacy Builders, an asset management and financial consulting firm that specializes in helping young adults eliminate debt, build wealth, and increase their giving.
Financial Security in an Uncertain World
It is rather ironic that investments such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds are referred to as “securities” by financial professionals. As many investors have experienced during the past year, investing in these financial instruments has generated a lot of emotions, the least of which is a sense of security. So where can we turn for real financial security? Scripture provides us with the answer by stating that we should not “put [our] hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but put [our] hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 17).
Our trust should be in God, not in money
Throughout Scripture we can find countless examples where God blessed His people when they simply placed their trust in Him. The Bible is also filled with numerous warnings against placing our trust in temporal objects such as money. Yet many of us are quick to think that the only way to become financially secure is to accumulate enough wealth to somehow become immune to all the possible trials that life may throw our way. Using this line of thinking, money can sometimes give us the illusion of security, but as the Book of Proverbs states, “cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle” (Proverbs 23:5).
Unforeseen events such as economic depressions, natural disasters, and medical emergencies can crack and scramble even the largest of nest eggs. Obviously, we can (and should) mitigate some of this risk through insurance and other hedges, but no risk management plan will ever be foolproof. For this reason, Jesus tells us to “store up [our] treasures in heaven where moths and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:20).
This is not to say that saving and planning are not important or that God disapproves of anyone who seeks financial freedom. Scripture clearly teaches that it is wise to plan, save, and diligently work towards goals that God leads us to pursue. However, we must recognize the true source of our abilities and the presence our own human deficiencies. It is often said that money is power, but the real power lies with the one who can create or destroy wealth with just the snap of His fingers. In the end, God will decide our financial future, and therefore He should be the one in whom we place our trust.