“15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. 16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:15-21)
I’m not quite sure which is worse: praying on work time, or glancing down at stock market reports on your work time. Let me tell you as a fact that many so-called ‘good’ workers do glance down at stock market reports on work time. In fact, it is not at all uncommon for me to see a person’s web browser’s ‘default location’ set to the stock market page. And why not? After all, these people have no hope whatsoever and the fact that they so tenuously cling to what is going on in the stock market — well, is it not an indication of where their hearts are at? (I hope I am not speaking to any of you!)
I remember a man at whose place I went to purchase my 1982 AMC Spirit a few years back. He was a nice man, to be sure — a God-fearing Christian, in fact. However, he spent too much time worrying about the stock market. When I got to his place (I had about $600.00 in my pocket and that was all I was ready to pay for the vehicle), I noticed that he seemed quite “stressed out” over the fact that his $5000 in stocks had just fizzled out into … nothing! There he sat, his eyes glued to his television set, beckoning me to, “Please stay, I’ll be with you in a minute.” He just couldn’t get his eyes “unstuck” from that television set, which was telling him, in no uncertain terms, that his $5000 in investments had suddenly and seemingly irrevocably “fizzled into nothing” in a matter of hours (or was it days, I’m just not sure!).
I have been like that — only once. It was when I was first investing a small portion of my income into the company stock fund in order to receive a company match. In and of itself, there is nothing wrong with supporting the work your company is doing — after all, you are “investing” in them by giving them your time and talents, and you are receiving the reward of your salary, by which you use it to support your family, your church, and your community. If the pay-back is good (and like all good stewards might consider doing), why not glean a reward by investing in their stocks and further support the company at the same time? So, I did (and continue to make it my practice, though the time usually comes where I need to spend it and then it is gone!).
The occasion did come, early on, where I decided to make a withdrawal on my investment. My wife and I needed to purchase a new furnace, as I recall. I was “worried” that I should do it when the market was high, and not low. I wasn’t thinking the “wise way,” which really is to “trust God’s timing,” because His timing is always perfect. If I needed the money at that time, and I had it invested, just make the withdrawal and trust God for “His dividends” (not necessarily the company’s). However, my worry was the sin in the matter. It drew my attention and devotion away from God. And this is really what was bad about the whole thing. I sinned. I left my first love. For a matter of days, I put it on money. I failed my God, but, by God’s grace, I repented and He has fully restored me! (I praise God for that!)
You see, the stock market is nothing but a tool in the hands of God. One day, it will crash completely and all will be rendered helpless except for those who have truly learned to depend on God and not market prices. If you have never really learned to trust in God in the first place, but have been relying upon your RRSPs, or stocks, or mutual funds, or whatever, then a mighty surprise does await you! Be forwarned! The day is coming, and it may not be far off!