A great investment

In March, I shared this formula in this column: A great life is the product of a great investment in a great cause. The temptation, instigated and promoted by satan, is to make an average investment in great causes and to make great investments in average causes. In either scenario, the result is an average life.

Today I want to talk about a great investment and give you three questions to ask yourself as you make investments. An investment can be the gift of money, your time, your energy, or tangible help of some kind.

The first question is, “Has God done something great for me?” Your investing must come as a result of receiving something you do not deserve. I would contend if you believe you have never received something you do not deserve (the love of a parent, an education, the joy of a smile, forgiveness) your investment in others will never come from a grateful heart. Your investments will therefore be given out of guilt, obligation or for a self-serving reason. And at that point you are heading off course from living a great life. I believe that our motivation really matters in all of our investing.

If you do not believe there is a God you must reflect on other sources of grace and blessing. If you do believe in God, has God done anything for you? Maybe God hasn’t? Maybe you have never sinned so you don’t need forgiveness? Maybe you don’t have any regrets so you don’t need God to restore hope in you? Maybe marriage is a piece of cake for you and you don’t need God’s help? Maybe you didn’t bring any baggage into marriage? Maybe you don’t have any struggles or wounds and need God’s healing and strength? I have received God’s help in all of these areas. Time does not allow me to share with you all that God has done for me and for our family. But, I will forever be grateful.

When Jesus sent his disciples out to invest in others he gave them a powerful core life philosophy: “Freely you have received; freely give.” I want all my investments to be given out of a heart and life that has received so much more than I deserve. I do not give out of guilt or obligation or to receive something in return.

The second question is, “Do I believe in what this organization is doing to help people?” Another way of saying this is, “Will my investment multiply in the lives of others after I give it?”

The third question is, “Do I believe that my gift will make an eternal difference?” So, beyond multiplying here on earth, will this gift make a difference in eternity? Will my eternity or the eternity of others be impacted by my investment? This is the ultimate long-term question.

I just finished writing a thank you to a family that is investing financially in a resident at our church. I thanked them for making a great investment in a great cause. For their investment, I believe the answer to all three questions is a resounding yes. God bless you. See you next Sunday!

Hauser can be reached at www.jonhauser.com