Riding the Wave – Tidal Wave or Tsunami: What the Bible Says about the Stock Market
By Betty Miller
The Bible actually does not say anything specifically about the Stock Market. However, it is full of principles that directly affect any kind of investing. The book of Proverbs is full of wisdom in regard to many of life’s common problems. Let us look at a portion of those scriptures to see how it would relate to the stock market.
The Work of the Righteous Man
The following verses from the book of Proverbs compares the actions of the righteous and the wicked in regard to work. The Bible tells us that whatever a man sows that will he also reap.
The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat. A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame. Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner. Proverbs 13:4-6
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. Galatians 6:7-8
The Stock Market Gamble
Verse 4 tells us that a sluggard (one who is lazy and idle) always desires to have something, but because of his unwillingness to work, he will never have anything. We live in a time when desiring wealth without diligent work is popular. There are untold numbers of books being published on “how to become a millionaire” and millions of people are making the authors and publishers of these books wealthy. The lotteries and gambling casinos are filled with people who want to make a fast buck. Again, it is the coffers of the lotteries and casinos that are amassing wealth.
Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase. Proverbs 13:11
Many people are investing in the stock market with the same kind of attitude — that is, one of trying to find the stock investment that will make them rich. Many thought the “Dot.com” stocks were the opportunity of a life time. Instead, many lost their life savings as they invested with the wrong motives. Investing in stock is not sinful, as scripture speaks of wisely investing our money; however, many are not investing wisely. They are playing the stock market just like they play the gambling tables. This is why so many have lost their money. They invested in companies on a hunch, a tip, or just calculating the ups and downs of graphs without other research, or going along with the crowd as to what looked like a winner. Many invested in companies that totally ignored basic business principles.
The basic principle of the stock market is not wrong if it is followed properly. What is that principle? When a man or a group of men have a good and righteous business or company that benefits humanity; yet they lack funding to make that business productive, it creates a need for another’s help. If another man or a group of men (investors) have surplus funds and could use the monies as additional or future support, it also creates a need for another’s help. When the one group physically does the work and the other supports that work with his funds, it becomes mutually beneficial for both parties. However, today, many people invest without any research in the company they are investing in. They do not know if the company policies are based on good Biblical principles. They know nothing as to how their employees are treated. They know nothing of the history of the company. They do not know the character of the ones running the business; whether they are honest, reliable or trustworthy, etc. They know nothing of their alliances (do they support or promote unholy causes such as pornography, abortion, etc.). Sad to say, but most of the stock market is run by lust and greed, instead of wise investment and helping one another.
Many investors have lost their money because their approach to investing was no more than pulling a slot machine handle and taking a chance on winning. This is also why people get taken in other “Get-Rich-Quick” schemes. They are naïve and somehow feel that they can get rich without really working, simply by investing in what sounds like a good deal. We should know better, but unfortunately, many of us are gullible. Many companies that have stock are run by people who do not care about the other participants. They know that a great majority of their stockholders will lose money, but since their motivation is greed, they are just looking for a way to get rich themselves. Nothing will stop them unless they get caught. People in our society are impatient to be rich and have a contempt for those slow, but sure gains, which are the proper reward of industry, patience and thrift.
“Those who do not work should not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). The desire to make money without working for it is an unrighteous desire. God uses work to build and shape our character. He delights in providing for those who put His Kingdom and His righteousness first. Some people talk about using wealth that they are going to gain from schemes or gambling to promote God’s Kingdom. God’s Kingdom is not promoted by unrighteousness. It is promoted through the loving sacrifice of those who are obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not wrong to take money that you have earned and put it in the stock market if you have done your homework in regard to the company or companies you are investing in. However, many people today have run up their credit card debt to use the money to invest in a certain so called “hot” stock, only to lose it all and be left with a debt to pay. This is not wisdom.
Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God
Verses 5 and 6 in Proverbs 13 tells us that a righteous man hates lying and deceit and will flee from it, while the wicked person will pursue sin and it will become his downfall. Since our society has indulged in excessive credit, loose money, super speculation and low savings, it puts us in a position to suffer the consequences of this type of financial behavior. We should flee from any unrighteous business dealings, unwise stock investments, gambling, or activities that are promoted by greed. God’s work is promoted most fruitfully by people who learn to love and give wisely, from an obedient, cheerful heart. If you keep God’s Word, you will grow in the knowledge of Him and prosper in your soul. If you seek His Kingdom first and His righteousness, He promises that you will always have enough of everything you need to be blessed in this life. We should not look to stock market investments for our future security. Even a good investment has risks in this world, as we all live in uncertain times. As Christians, our security is in the keeping power of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are promised provision no matter what is going on in the world around us, even in times of famine.
The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. Psalm 37:18-19
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Topic: What the Bible Says about the Stock Market
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