Many Christians associate the term "stewardship" with giving, but it actually includes all aspects of managing the wealth that God puts into our hands—and that includes making wise investments. In today's go-go climate of speculation, where daytraders and dot-com millionaires are often in the limelight, it's easy for people to equate prudent investing (for retirement or a child's college education) with Las Vegas–style gambling.

There's one huge difference, however, between a biblical perspective on investing and our current cultural infatuation with millionaire-mania, and that's the issue of ownership. Many of today's most daring investors take wild risks for one goal—to become rich. Christians, on the other hand, are already rich, but not in material assets—those belong to God.

The bedrock of a biblical understanding of wealth is that it all belongs to God, but he entrusts us to manage it during our lifetime. Our task is to decide how to divide the pie. How much do we give away to help meet the needs of others and expand God's kingdom? How much do we consume on our own needs? And how much do we set aside for future needs?

We're basically trustees, and a trustee normally does not take high risks with the owner's wealth. When you entrust assets to a financial manager, you expect rational plans for putting that money to work, not unreasonable risks in hopes of a quick payoff.

The desire to get rich quickly drowns out the biblical voice that counsels us to set aside from our current abundance against a future need. Proverbs 6:6–8 extols the humble ant, which despite its insectival intelligence has the wit to put aside resources to meet the needs of an uncertain future. It's reasonable to assume that—after we've given to God's ...

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