Thursday, March 24, 2016

Are You Invested?

In his newspaper column called “Market Report,” business writer Bill Barnhart once explained the difference between investors and traders in the stock market. He wrote, 
“... a trader in a stock is making decisions minute-by-minute in the hope of shaving off profits measured in fractions of a dollar.
An investor, on the other hand, typically buys and sells stock based on views about the company and the economy at large.
In other words, traders are “wheelers and dealers.” They pursue short-term profits.
Traders may have no confidence whatsoever in the companies in which they buy stock but they go ahead and buy it, basically smelling an immediate payoff. 
By contrast, investors are in it for the long haul. They “chain themselves to the mast.” Investors commit their money to a stock, believing that over a period of years and even decades the stock will pay strong dividends and steadily grow in value. Investors aren’t flustered by the typical ups and downs of the market because they believe in the quality of the company, its leaders, and its product.
In the kingdom of God there are also investors and traders. They come to Christ with very different goals. Traders in the kingdom want God to improve their lot in this world but are not committed to much else. If following Christ means pain or hardship, traders quickly sell out. But investors in the kingdom stay true to Christ no matter what happens in this world, knowing that in the end, the promise of God is that eternal dividends await them in Jesus Christ.

So, I wonder if you are an investor or a trader? Do you pursue the kingdom of God and your relationship with Jesus for the immediate, short-term payoff like a trader would, eager to sell out when the going gets tough? Or do you rather have a more eternal view like the investor, content to stay committed no matter come what may?

It’s important to ask and answer this question for yourself, whether you are a trader or an investor, because the difference between the two is the difference between a Christian who flourishes over the long-term or a Christian who is stunted, who languishes, and who is in danger of losing the race set before them.