As Christians, how can we make biblically-based investment decisions and steward our resources wisely? When it comes to making wise investment decisions, Rusty Leonard speaks to the importance of following Jesus’ example.
“If Jesus was here on earth this time instead of over 2,000 years ago, He was a carpenter and He had a 401K plan, how would He look at it? How would He view it and how would He decide how He’s going to invest that?”
“We try to view it from that perspective and mimic what we think Jesus would do. Of course, we may not get that perfectly right, but we can try our best to eliminate those stocks, bonds, or any kind of connection to organizations that would be something that would not honor the Father.”
“We try to identify those companies that are way out of bounds and we avoid those. We try to focus on those that are really doing good things for humanity and being a blessing to mankind.”
Rusty says that Christians, historically, haven’t done the greatest job of using their God-given discernment to make wise investment decisions. He refers to the growing Christian movement of biblically responsible investing (BRI).
“It’s not something that has gotten on the radar screen of most Christians, unfortunately. I will say it’s better than it was, there has been improvements over the years because there’s more and more people doing biblically responsible investing and talking to their clients about it, but it’s still quite a small percentage.”
One reason why the church hasn’t fully resonated with BRI could be due to the interference of the socially responsible investing (SRI) approach in our culture today. Rusty builds a case for why we need to prioritize our Christian values and make biblically-based investment decisions.
“Socially responsible investing, which basically represents the liberal side of our political sphere if you want to look at it that way. Most of the time they’re supportive of Planned Parenthood and abortion, homosexual rights, all of the gender stuff that’s going on right now. These are clearly sinful things and that’s where the SRI community is.”
“That’s why BRI exists because we, as Christians, couldn’t latch into that socially responsible investment community and feel like we were doing the Lord’s will. We needed to come up with something different that represent our values, not values of people who basically deny the Bible.”
Jesus would do everything He could to honor the Father with His investments. As followers of Christ, we should aim to do the same. By taking a biblically responsible investing approach, we will be able to reflect our Christian values in our daily life and steward our resources wisely.
Howard J. “Rusty” Leonard, CFA, is CEO of Stewardship Partners Investment Counsel, LLC located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Stewardship Partners is an investment manager dedicated to helping Christian investors align their investing with their biblically-based worldview.Biblically responsible investing