In last week’s “Monday Manna” we considered the concept of viewing success in life and work from the perspective of an investor. One of the common goals of all good investors is the desire to maximize the return on their investments. But how can we accomplish that in terms of “life investing,” using to the fullest the skills, gifts, experience and other resources we have received?
Let me suggest a “life-investing checkup” – an inventory of sorts to help in properly assess what we are doing, how we are doing, and why we are doing it. If we want to do a checkup and see if we are being good investors of our lives, what will we look at? Even more important, what will God look at – the One who has appointed us stewards of the resources available to us every day?
First, let me suggest that we look at the quality of our relationships with God and other people. Ask yourself, “Am I putting Jesus Christ first in my life? Am I spending time with Him on a daily basis, asking for direction, wisdom, strength, provision – and forgiveness, when I fail? Can I honestly demonstrate He is number one in my life?”
The proof of whether I really value, love and obey God shows in how I treat my wife and daughter, other family members, friends, fellow believers, customers, vendors, and even the mail carrier, who in some respects is my most valuable business vendor.
Second, the proof is also revealed by looking at my checkbook and seeing where I am investing and spending money entrusted to me. Am I constantly looking for ways to invest God’s capital in His Kingdom as He puts opportunities in my path to help other people? Am I also saving an appropriate amount of money to help pay future expenses at a time in my life when I can no longer work? Am I making prudent financial investment decisions to eventually have money to leave to my children’s children, as it says to do in the Bible?
Third, I have to look at my calendar. How many hours do I spend at work? Is that the amount of time I believe God wants me to invest on a particular day or week? Am I allowing God to be the CEO of my business and use it for His purposes, or do I view my career as a personal possession I use to earn money to spend on my own desires? Do I spend appropriate time with God in daily quiet time; developing relationships with my family members and friends; serving others in the community to help them improve their lives; exercising to keep my body healthy and fit, and enjoying some recreational activities?
The choice of how we invest our lives is ours alone. We cannot pass that responsibility on to anyone else. When I take my last breath and stand before God, I want Him to say to me “Well done, good and faithful investor of the life I gave you. Enter into My heavenly kingdom and enjoy eternal rest and rewards in the place I have prepared for you!”
If you have not dedicated some time lately to consider how you are investing your life, I would urge you to spend a morning away from the office and do a careful review of your life investment decisions. You may discover a reallocation of life resources is in order – and you will be glad you did. Happy Life Investing!
Lane Kramer is a Dallas, Texas business who founded The CEO Institute, a membership-based organization to help CEOs build world-class companies consistent with biblical principles and values. His website is www.ceoinst.com.
1. What do you think about the idea of doing a “life-investing checkup”? Have you ever done a personal inventory or assessment like that before?
2. If you were to undertake such a personal checkup, what might you expect to discover? Do you believe you are being a good steward or manager of the various abilities, talents, experience, time and other resources that have been entrusted to your care?
3. If someone were to examine your checkbook, or your calendar, what might they conclude about the things you regard of greatest importance in your life and business?
4. Would you be willing to do a life-investing checkup, as Mr. Kramer has suggested? Why or why not? Consider scheduling it on your calendar – and asking someone to hold you accountable to follow through on that commitment.
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses:
Proverbs 4:23, 16:2,9, 21:5, 28:20; Ecclesiastes 3:1-12,22, 12:13-14; Luke 14:28-29