As I was working at my desk, I heard a customer, as he looked at his phone, say to no one in particular, “Oh wow. The market is up again today.” He then proceeded to talk about investments, both long and short term, and about watching them closely.
Sharon and I have investments. We have a reputable firm which watches them. They have analysts which look for trends and potential dangers. These people are smarter than me. They live and breathe this stuff. I trust them to do what’s best for me, based on the goals I’ve given them. It’s not blind trust… I’ve done my due diligence. It’s a reputable firm, with a strong history, and a firm foundation.
So, when the market fluctuates wildly, which it’s been doing for a number of years now, I try not to watch. I try not to think about the impact a great day would have, or more importantly, what a lousy day in the markets would mean. It’s not that I don’t care, but I’ve been prudent and that’s all I can do. So, I don’t watch the markets or our investment very closely. Maybe that makes me stupid or foolish… I don’t know.
What I do know is this: My future is not based in financial security. Whatever I’ve been blessed with, however great or small, I’ve been blessed to be a blessing.
Maybe you’re thinking, “That’s easy for you to say. You’re not living from paycheck to paycheck.” That’s true. However, we did live paycheck-to-paycheck for a long time. And during that time, early in our marriage, my wife Sharon taught me about tithing. She taught me from the Scripture in Malachi. She taught me that all of it belongs to God, and He asks for a tenth. The word “tithe” actually means “tenth.” So we began giving a tenth, right off the top. It was (and is) the very first check (“firstfruits”) we write after getting paid. It is a tenth of our gross pay, before taxes.
When she taught me that, I was very hesitant to give that money away. After all, we needed it to make ends meet. But we started anyway, and then she lost her job and was out of work for 5 months. Somehow, we still tithed. Somehow, we never lacked anything. We were never late on a payment or a bill. Somehow.
It taught me to trust God. No matter what. It taught me to hold loosely to the resources He gives us. It taught me not to worry about the turmoil we face in this world, or worry how limited my resources may look. It taught me to look to the Prince of Peace and see His endless resources. I can rest in the knowledge that He loves us and cares for us. No matter what.
Whatever is in my wallet, my checking account or any other account is to be used as God sees fit. It is His money. If he says “Give”, I give. I don’t need to see what the markets are doing.
I just trust.