Most investments come with the risk of losing everything. But investing in lasting happiness can produce dividends for eternity.
I have investments in stocks and bonds. I know with the ups and downs of the markets, I may lose it all. I’m taking that risk with my eyes open to the possibility that the money won’t be there someday.
But there are 4 simple ways that I invest in lasting happiness that carry little to no risk. The first 3 are risk-free. The potential returns on the fourth investment outweigh its risks.
1. Giving to God’s kingdom
The way I see it, everything I have is given to me on loan from God. He’s entrusted His property to me to manage to the best of my ability (Matthew 25:24-30).
I’ve been returning tithes and offerings to God for most of my adult life. Whenever I get paid for my work, God’s cut comes right off the top. The tithe, which means tenth, comes off my gross earnings. I add to that offerings to support the work of God’s church.
My investment in His kingdom gives others the opportunity to receive His love. In return, God has trusted me with more income than I ever expected to earn.
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 ESV
One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Proverbs 11:24 ESV
Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you. Luke 6:38 ESV
2. Giving to God’s people
I’m committed to charitable giving to help people. When hard times hit any part of the human family, it brings peril to all if we stand by and do nothing. Some examples of how I’ve helped people in need include donations to a women’s shelter, an orphanage, and mosquito nets for children in Southeast Asia.
But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 1 John 3:17 ESV
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. Proverbs 19:17 ESV
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:16 ESV
Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. Luke 12:33 ESV
3. Reducing my debts
A few years ago I eliminated my last debt. What a relief!
We made loan payments after giving to God’s kingdom and charitable giving.
I’m grateful to my father-in-law, who counseled my wife and me to make getting out of debt a priority. We started soon after our wedding. We paid off college loans as fast as we could. We’ve always bought used cars with cash. We paid off our credit cards monthly. We paid for our current home in full.
The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender. Proverbs 22:7 ESV
Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:7-8 ESV
4. Saving for emergencies
If we wreck our car or it breaks down, I don’t want to be unable to replace it.
If I lose my income and can’t pay the bills or buy food, I don’t want to rely on the government to keep a roof over our heads and feed us.
Since our wedding day, my wife and I have always put away savings. We made a commitment to set aside enough savings to get us through 3 months without income. Then we worked at having enough to replace our car.
We’re not hoarders, but we’ve enjoyed the added security of knowing we’ve prepared for emergencies. It became possible by exercising some self-control and not spending everything we had coming in.
Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it. Proverbs 21:20 ESV
Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. Proverbs 6:6-8 ESV
What are you doing or do you need to do to invest in your lasting happiness? Leave a comment below.
[content_container max_width=’500′ align=’left’]Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.