So many people think reading the Bible is only about spiritual things, and the stories of Jesus, the Israelites and the Disciples. Or maybe a collection of ‘thou shalt nots’ meant to stop you from having fun. But those who know what’s up will tell you that the Bible will teach you almost anything you need to know about life, if you know where to look.
The surprising lesson for me, as someone who works in finance, is learning how in depth the Bible goes in teaching about financial issues, and how sound and up to date the advice is. I never knew, until a few weeks ago when lo and behold, an older friend of mine who was leading Sunday school at my church started speaking about it. And so, naturally, I realized I would have to share the lessons here both for my own sake and for the sake of the readers out here. Bookmark these verses, you know because next time, instead of calling a financial advisor, you might need to turn to a few books of the Bible and get some really dope advice. For instance:
Plan for the Lean Times and Emergency Periods
Proverbs 27 verses 23-27: “Know your flock well, pay attention to your herds because no treasure lasts forever…”
Reading all the way to the 27th verse, this passage tells us that the good times won’t remain good. Economies turn bad, jobs get lost, sickness and accidents happen, so you have to set aside a portion of your resources for the period things get tough and you need something to fall back on.
This applied to me due to the recent floods in my city which damaged both my apartment and my car. While I was able to deal with the worst of it due to the savings I had, I still realized I need to plan for even the unforeseeables.
Diversify your Investments
As the maestro himself WutangFinance would say, “Diversify yo bonds”. But guess who said it first? Solomon, in the Bible. While the verse above already hints at it, when it tells you to keep aside resources that can keep you when you lose your income, the Bible spells it out even more clearly in Ecclesiastes 11:6 where it tells you to scatter your seed (not put it in one place), in the morning and in the evening (instead of all at once, similar to the principle of ‘dollar cost averaging’ I discussed in this post), because you do not know which will succeed or fail, or whether both will be good. I couldn’t have put it better myself. Don’t put all your portfolio in the stocks of one company you think is a sure thing. Yes it might be, and you might hit it big, but more than likely, it may not and you’ll lose everything. Better not to find out. Spread your bets around several companies, real estate trusts, rental property, bonds, master limited partnerships, money markets accounts, cash, gold and Bitcoin. Your choices are endless. King Solomon amassed quite the fortune, so he clearly knew a thing or two.
Make Detailed Plans Before Embarking on Any Project and Be Strategic
In financial advisory, we always say, have a savings plan, budget your expenses, set investment goals, and know what your strategy is for success of any financial project. Do a detailed cost benefit analysis, draw up financial models if you have to, and gather every input cost and all you need to carry it to completion, before you even begin. The same advice is echoed in Luke 14:28-30, in even more eloquent terms. It’s crazy that so many churches abandon their building projects, or that many of our issues in Nigeria come from poor planning and lack of strategic thinking, when the same Bible we carry up and down is drumming it this way.
And the last one on this post
Always get counsel from professionals
You do not want to be like the blind leaders of the Blind Jesus mentioned. Always get experts to advise you in areas where your knowledge is not the sharpest, especially in financial issues where you could lose your money if you make mistakes. The Bible spells this out clearly in Proverbs 15:22, Proverbs 11:14, and Proverbs 20:18. This advice is so important, it was repeated many times in similar terms. Don’t try to go it alone, ask someone who knows what they’re doing, and take the time to learn.
There are many more gems in the Bible, both financial and non-financial. It’s not always about heaven and hell, or who is not having sex or whatever, although these are just as important. However, the wisdom in the Bible is applicable anywhere you can think of, and if you take the time to study it I bet you will discover many more.
I know I am!