Avoiding deception, making right investments
Steve Lyston, Contributor
Locally and globally, many tears have been shed and much pain felt because people have been deceived out of their life savings, and even Christians have suffered even greater loss. Anyone can be deceived, and Christians are not exempt.
Deception comes as a result of a person's ignorance of a matter, and manipulation by others who have the knowledge but selfish motives. However, mistakes and deception cause us to be wiser in future endeavours. The shadow always comes before the real thing.
When ideas are presented for investment opportunities, we must read all the fine print and look more deeply than the surface to avoid deception. We must carry out investigations and engage in serious prayer - never be too quick to invest in something that offers high returns in a short time, substantial rates of interest on your investments and a quick trip to 'millionaire-ship'.
There are no shortcuts to becoming a millionaire.
You must seek legal advice from those who are driven to satisfy their customers, not driven by money and profit making.
We must carry out research on those from whom we are taking legal advice and also on those presenting business ideas for investment to us.
Always remember, you have the right to negotiate any deal being presented to you.
Let no one bully you into taking advantage of the deal 'Now! Now! Now!
You must check out the level of risk involved in all investment schemes being presented to you.
Never put all your eggs in one basket - no matter how good it sounds and how sound it seems, never put your entire life savings in one place.
There are many asking if Christians should invest. The answer is yes. And it is clearly supported in Luke 19: 13-27 and Matthew 25: 14-30. Jesus outlined that Christians should do business until He returned; but He was speaking about doing so on an individual basis.
He gave the Church all the resources they would need to avoid deception. Corporate gathering is for prayer and worship - not to carry out business transactions in the temple. (John 2: 13-16 & Matthew 21: 12-13)
It is no secret that investors, among others, try to use the Church as their target market for various schemes, and most times they target the pastors as the leaders of the flock to sell the ideas to their congregants.
No member is obligated to comply with any investment supported or promoted by their leaders. Investment is an individual choice that should be approached with great wisdom - preferably Godly wisdom.
Any product being presented to you for investment purposes must be thoroughly investigated and be found to meet all the legal, physical and spiritual requirements. Further to this, you must know the source of the product and the destination of the proceeds. You wouldn't want to be supporting a product that is not in line with your beliefs.
There are three main gifts given by the Church to prevent deception. They are called the Revelatory Gifts (I Corinthians 12) - Word of Knowledge, Word of Wisdom, Discernment of Spirits.
Word of Knowledge - It is a supernatural gift that reveals facts of those things that are presented to you - both past and present. It is more powerful than a lie-detector test. (Exemplified in John 4; II Kings 5)
Word of Wisdom - It is the supernatural insight of the future. This gift allows you to put plans in place to avoid deception.
Discernment of Spirits - This is a supernatural gift that helps you to distinguish good from evil. It helps you to identify motives - whether good or bad. (Exemplified in Acts 5)
These gifts help you to make the right decisions and examine what is presented to you. They help you to examine and analyse the motives of individuals and organisations, and also can be used to reduce crime and ultimately save lives.
The next time something is presented to you, whether secular or religious, utilise the resources that are given to you to acquire and maintain your blessing.
Steve Lyston is a biblical economics consultant and author of several books, including 'End Time Finance and The New Millionaire'.