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“Hide it under a bushel—no! I’m gonna’ let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.” It’s a familiar children’s song about shining our light for Jesus. Right? What if we change a few words: “Hide it in the backyard—NO! I’m gonna’ let it work, let it bless, let it shine, let it grow!” Uh-oh! We just got personal. :)
The song and the cleverly adapted version have a lot in common, though. If I have been given something that isn’t of my own merit or strength, but straight from the blessing of God, I shouldn’t hide it or bury it. It is God’s resource, not mine. We see this clearly illustrated in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30.
It goes something like this: Three servants were entrusted with the master’s property, according to their ability. The master then left on an extended trip and the three servants each adopted an investment style. You might be familiar with the story: the one who had 5 talents traded with them and made 5 talents profit. (Well done, good servant!) The one with 2 talents made 2 more. (Ditto!) But...the one who received one talent went and dug a hole and hid the money. When the master came to him, he immediately went “on the defensive” and actually offended the master by blaming him! (I knew you were a harsh master, harvesting what you didn’t even plant, so I was afraid. Burying the money was my best plan.) The master was taken aback, challenged the servant, and finally said, “Well at least you could have invested my money with the bank and at my coming, I would’ve received what was my own with interest.” He continued by essentially saying, “My best plan is take your one talent and give it to the guy who now has 10 talents.”
The key to the 3rd servant’s reluctance to invest was fear. “I was afraid” served as his primary motivator for digging a hole in his backyard. He was afraid of the master, whom he perceived to be stingy and unjust. He was afraid that if he invested, the money would somehow disappear and he’d be in big trouble. He, as far as we know, did not seek counsel from others and made what he thought would be his best plan. If you read verse 30, you’ll discover that he not only had the one talent taken from him, but he also faced judgment for his actions.
This passage has deep spiritual implications, but it has practical implications too. We believe there is very little distinction between spiritual and practical, secular and sacred. They are the same because everything we do matters to God and our whole journey on this earth is spent in service to the King.
So, what have you been entrusted with while the master is on his journey? We would suggest that you have been entrusted with many things—money, health, energy, time, vocational skill, ambition, etc. Have you invested them well or have you dug a hole? Perhaps, for some reading this, there is a literal hole that’s been dug (or a mattress that’s been hollowed out or a coffee can that’s been buried.) For others, there is a pervasive feeling of fear or caution that doesn’t take the master’s interests into account. May we say, as gently as we possibly can, that this fear is not from God.
Caution and prudence, combined with godly wisdom, can be very appropriate. One way to discern between caution and fear is to examine the ‘voices’ you are listening to as you make financial decisions. Does your counsel come from the news media or even a podcast or talk show that profits from your fear? Do you ever talk through your thoughts with other believers or does most of your planning happen inside your head? Do you think you might benefit from a simple financial conversation, where you are free to include your worldview questions and doubts as part of that talk? We would be honored to have a conversation with you!
Why do we Distinguish Between the Secular and the Spiritual?
By Hugh Whelchel
Excerpted from https://tifwe.org/overcoming-the-sacred-secular-divide/
There is no word for “spiritual” in the Hebrew Old Testament. Were they not spiritual people? In the Hebrew worldview, everything was spiritual. There was no need to distinguish between spiritual and secular because no part of their existence was secular.
Our response as Christians to our Heavenly Father should be unlimited, all encompassing, and comprehensive. It should not be limited to church on Sundays and some personal devotions during the week. It should appear in every dimension of our lives.
The answer to this question gives us great insight into what could be called the besetting sin of the church in the 21st century. We have become double-minded, seeing a false divide between what would be called spiritual and secular. This divide is responsible for the popular misconception that our relationship with God can be reduced to church-related events and activities.
We have been tricked into thinking there is secular, neutral ground in our lives that is neither for nor against God. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Secular Work vs Sacred Work
Throughout history, there has been a pervasive question about secular vs sacred. The Greeks promoted dualism, by which life is divided into multiple spheres and these spheres compete against each other. Secular vs sacred. Body vs spirit, even teaching that the body was bad and the soul was good—so that only work associated with man’s soul truly mattered. Many great minds have wrested with this, including Wilberforce and Martin Luther, and many have felt a struggle about how to incorporate their Christian beliefs and ethic into their daily lives.
Let’s explore how this impacts our financial lives…
At Faith Investment Services, we strongly believe that you cannot separate life into secular vs spiritual. As Dorothy Sayers said, "All work done well and for his glory is Christian work." This means our vocation, how we manage our household, how we treat store clerks when we shop, how we care for our neighbors, and more. And we definitely believe it pertains to stewardship and money—how we use, save, allocate, invest, accumulate, distribute, donate, and pass it to our heirs or charity.
“God talks about things like money, sex, work, food, hygiene, and much more throughout the Bible. Many of us would be surprised that He cares so much about all of these things. However, this reveals that God doesn’t divide the sacred from the spiritual. It’s all the same to Him. Everything is spiritual.” (ywamla.org)
Colossians 3:23-24 reminds us “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters...it is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
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Growth at Faith Investment Services
We are proud to have continued growth and development in our staff.
Josh Moore is now a registered assistant with us, having passed his Series 6 exam.
Orrie Augsburger is pursuing his ChFC (Chartered Financial Consultant) designation, with completion expected this year.
Kathi Dunlap and Susannah Steiner will begin study in June to become AHIP certified so that they can provide Medicare assistance, including offering Med Supp plans, for our firm.
Advisory services are provided through Creative Financial Designs, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser. Securities are offered through cfd Investments, Inc., a Registered Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA & SIPC. Faith Investment Services is independently owned and is not affiliated with the CFD companies. Neither Faith Investment Services, LLC nor the CFD companies offer legal or tax advice.
Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.
– Ephesians 6:7-8
Riley Creek Arbor and Faith Investment Services are excited to be hosting a 5K run with proceeds to benefit Lifewise Academy Pandora-Gilboa. This Released Time Religious Instruction program is heading into its third year of operation in our neighboring community.
Who: all runners and “bench warmers” who want to register their support
What: 5K “Ready for Football” Run
When: Saturday, August 13, 2022
Where: start and end at Pandora Missionary Church, 300 Rocket Ridge, Pandora, OH 45877
At the time of printing, registration sign up is not yet prepared. Please save the date and follow & like “LifeWise Academy - Pandora-Gilboa” on Facebook or contact our office to sign up. Pre-registration required for runners and “bench warmers” who want to receive a t-shirt.
If you are concerned about our country, please consider prayerfully supporting this national ministry to legally reach into our public schools, teaching the entire Bible, Genesis to Revelation, over the course of 5 years. Go to www.lifewiseacademy.org to learn about the mission, see what is happening in your area, and consider supporting either a local program or on the national level.
To a man who lives unto God nothing is secular, everything is sacred.
Friday, September 2, 2022 * 8 am
101 N Main, Bluffton, OH
Coffee, donuts, and Q&A on budgeting
Small round-table discussion, limited to first 8 people— first Friday every month (except August)