The Sweet Spot

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Posted: Dec 18, 2019 11:36 AM

An interesting observation—two opposite ends of the calendar and two completely different financial focuses.

Have you noticed that the last couple of months of our calendar is often defined as the “Giving Time of Year”? Charities and churches campaign with vigor for your donations through every media possible, everywhere you turn. 

In fact, according to “Giving USA 2019: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2018,” American individuals, bequests, foundations and corporations gave an estimated $427.71 billion to U.S. charities last year, an increase of 0.7% over the previous year. 

I get it. Marketers realize Christians start looking deep into the selflessness of Christ and His call for us to love abundantly as the celebration of our Savior’s birth approaches. What better time to tap into the generosity of millions than when they are most sensitive to their desire to honor God by sharing the financial blessings with others? And praise God that so many do care and give to help others.

Now contrast this to the first few months of the year where the financial focus is all about more, more, more. It is during this time of New Year’s resolutions that the financial news world inundates us with thousands of articles on budgeting, savings, investing, debt recovery and personal finance.

The front pages of nearly every financial magazine and website are plastered with the top 3, 7, or 10 financial steps that you need to take today that will change your life. Secrets, tips, and hints on how to make more, get more, save and grow more—a tsunami of focus on personal gain. What better time to push financial products and services than when consumers are most open to change?

Two opposite ends of the calendar embracing two differing financial focuses—yet what if there was a better way? The reality is there are sweet spots in personal finance that do not need a special time of year or a singular focus. What if you could both honor God with your finances and fulfill the financial responsibilities God called you to simultaneously? A perfect example of this is investing with biblical integrity.

Investing with a biblically responsible approach has the unique ability to fulfill doing what is good for “yourselves and for all.” 

First, you can put your money to work on achieving your financial objectives, such as creating a secure and comfortable future for yourself, caring for and educating your family, and all other important financial objectives you may have. 

Second, by purposefully using only investment products that are in alignment with your biblical values, you avoid rendering evil to anyone and only pursue doing good for all. Investing with Biblical integrity helps your money perform both tasks without compromise.

Two free resources can help the faithful reach that sweet spot of investing with biblical integrity:

  • National Association of Christian Financial Consultants (NACFC): Several free resources and tools are available at the website for NACFC, the first organization formed to teach, train and encourage Christian financial professionals to provide biblically responsible investing to their clients. Learn about BRI resources at www.nacfc.org.
  • eVALUEator Free ‘Screen It, Clean It’ Tool: This useful, free tool screens individual investor portfolios, no strings attached; eVALUEator is the leading biblically responsible data provider for investment professionals. Learn more at www.evalueator.com.

The sweet spot of investing with biblical integrity isn’t limited to a season or a couple of months. It is not a singular focus but one that embraces both the spiritual and the temporal. What a wonderful, powerful realization it is that we can invest for the here and now, for real-world results and simultaneously honor God. 

(Mark Minnella is president and co-founder of the National Association of Christian Financial Consultants. He designed the first faith-based professional designation program, Christian Financial Consultant and Advisor, in the industry. He has extensive background as a leader in the faith-based investment movement, is the founder of Integrity Investors, LLC, and the author of “The Wall Street Awakening.”)