What Does the Bible Say About the Stock Market?
By Betty Miller
The Bible actually does not say anything specifically about the Stock
Market. However, it is full of principles that directly affect any kind of
investing. The book of Proverbs is full of wisdom in regard to many
of life's common problems. Let us look at a portion of those scriptures to see how
it would relate to the stock market.
4 The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall
be made fat.
5 A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame.
6 Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the
The book of Proverbs in these verses compares the actions
of the righteous and the wicked in regard to work. The Bible tells us that whatever a man
sows that will he also reap.
Galatians 6:7-8: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for
whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of
the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life
Verse 4 tells us that a sluggard (one who is lazy and
idle) always desires to have something, but because of his unwillingness to work, he will
never have anything. We live in a time when desiring wealth without diligent work is
popular. There are untold numbers of books being published on "how to become a
millionaire" and millions of people are making the authors and publishers of these
books wealthy. The lotteries and gambling casinos are filled with people who want to make
a fast buck. Again, it is the coffers of the lotteries and casinos that are amassing
Proverbs 13:11: "Wealth gotten by vanity
shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase."
Many people are investing in the stock market with the same kind of
attitude -- that is, one of trying to find the stock investment that will make them rich.
Many thought the "Dot.Com" stocks were the opportunity of a life time. Instead,
many lost their life savings as they invested with the wrong motives. Investing in
stock is not sinful, as scripture speaks of wisely investing our money; however, many are
not investing wisely. They are playing the stock market just like they play the gambling
tables. This is why so many have lost their money. They invested in companies on a
hunch, a tip, or just calculating the ups and downs of graphs without other research, or
going along with the crowd as to what looked like a winner. Many invested in companies
that totally ignored basic business principles.
The basic principle of the stock market is not wrong if it is followed
properly. What is that principle? When a man or a group of men have a good and
righteous business or company that benefits humanity; yet they lack funding to make that
business productive, it creates a need for another's help. If another man or a group
of men (investors) have surplus funds and could use the monies as additional or future
support, it also creates a need for another's help. When the one group physically
does the work and the other supports that work with his funds, it becomes mutually
beneficial for both parties. However, today, many people invest without any research in
the company they are investing in. They do not know if the company policies are
based on good Biblical principles. They know nothing as to how their employees are
treated. They know nothing of the history of the company. They do not know the
character of the ones running the business; whether they are honest, reliable or
trustworthy, etc. They know nothing of their alliances (do they support or promote unholy
causes such as pornography, abortion, etc.). Sad to say, but most of the stock market is
run by lust and greed, instead of wise investment and helping one another.
Many investors have lost their money because their approach to investing
was no more than pulling a slot machine handle and taking a chance on winning. This is
also why people get taken in other "Get-Rich-Quick" schemes. They are na´ve and
somehow feel that they can get rich without really working, simply by investing in what
sounds like a good deal. We should know better, but unfortunately, many of us are
gullible. Many companies that have stock are run by people who do not care about the other
participants. They know that a great majority of their stockholders will lose money, but
since their motivation is greed, they are just looking for a way to get rich themselves.
Nothing will stop them unless they get caught. People in our society are impatient to be
rich and have a contempt for those slow, but sure gains, which are the proper reward of
industry, patience and thrift.
Those who do not work should not eat. (2 Thessalonians
3:10). The desire to make money without working for it is an unrighteous desire.
God uses work to build and shape our character. He delights in providing for those who put
His Kingdom and His righteousness first. Some people talk about using wealth that they are
going to gain from schemes or gambling to promote God's Kingdom. God's Kingdom is not
promoted by unrighteousness. It is promoted through the loving sacrifice of those who are
obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not wrong to take money that you have earned and
put it in the stock market if you have done your homework in regard to the company or
companies you are investing in. However, many people today have run up their credit card
debt to use the money to invest in a certain so called "hot" stock, only to lose
it all and be left with a debt to pay. This is not wisdom.
Verses 5 and 6 in Proverbs 13 tells us
that a righteous man hates lying and deceit and will flee from it, while the wicked
person will pursue sin and it will become his downfall. Since our society has
indulged in excessive credit, loose money, super speculation and low savings, it puts us
in a position to suffer the consequences of this type of financial behavior. We
should flee from any unrighteous business dealings, unwise stock investments, gambling, or
activities that are promoted by greed. God's work is promoted most fruitfully by people
who learn to love and give wisely, from an obedient, cheerful heart. If you keep God's
Word, you will grow in the knowledge of Him and prosper in your soul. If you seek His
Kingdom first and His righteousness, He promises that you will always have enough of
everything you need to be blessed in this life. We should not look to stock market
investments for our future security. Even a good investment has risks in this world,
as we all live in uncertain times. As Christians, our security is in the keeping power of
our Lord Jesus Christ. We are promised provision no matter what is going on in the world
around us, even in times of famine.
Psalm 37:18-19: "The LORD knoweth the days of the upright:
and their inheritance shall be for ever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time:
and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied."