By Cassandra Laymon, CFP®
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NLT)
Does God really own it all? Your quick answer to this question is, “Yes, of course!”
That’s what I would say, too. But over time, I’ve realized that knowing the right answer to the question is different than living my life as an answer to the question.
I lived most of my life dependent on no one else but me. I was proud of my successes and all that I had earned. I failed to recognize that everything could be taken away from me as quickly as I had earned it. I thought if I worked hard and made good decisions everything would work out, because I was in control.
When I re-committed my life to Christ six years ago, I became very familiar with the term “steward.” That word is not used very often in secular circles. I know and understand the use of the word steward from the Parable of the Talents, or from announcements made by the church Stewardship Committee when it’s time for the annual giving campaign. But I never really saw myself as a steward, because, quite frankly, it’s a bit of a lofty word for me and a little hard to put into context in the 21st century.
I recently started to think of myself as God’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO). As a business owner or an employee of any business, we know what a CFO does. Here’s a definition from Investopedia:
A chief financial officer (CFO) is the senior executive responsible for managing the financial actions of a company. The CFO’s duties include tracking cash flow and financial planning as well as analyzing the company’s financial strengths and weaknesses and proposing corrective actions.
The CFO reports to the chief executive officer (CEO) but has significant input in the company’s investments, capital structure and how the company manages its income and expenses. The CFO works with other senior managers and plays a key role in a company’s overall success, especially in the long run. 1
If you are the CFO of a company, you have a very clear understanding of where the money came from and who it belongs to, i.e., not you. You play a very clear role in managing everything that has been entrusted to you and you help make good decisions that will grow the size of the company. But a good CFO never says, “Hey, I made all this happen, and therefore I should be able to do whatever I want with it, even if it conflicts with the mission and values of the company.” You can read stories in the news of the outcome, often jail time, when a CFO does take that approach.
The thought of being God’s CFO really changed things for me – not just in terms of how I’m saving and spending – but how I’m investing my money. The CFO of Greenpeace is not going to invest in any company that is destroying the environment. The CEO doesn’t have to tell him that, he just knows about the mission and values of the company, likely shares that passion and invests the company money in alignment with that.
As individuals, we rarely consider where we are investing God’s money, and how our investments should align with what God values. If God wants us, as his children, to thrive and be healthy, as his CFO, we should avoid investing in companies that are involved in the abortion industry, that contribute to Planned Parenthood, that are involved in pornography, or who thrive on getting people addicted to alcohol, tobacco, and gambling…just to name a few.
You might be saying, But I’m not really a CFO, and I haven’t been trained to manage money that way. How would I do that?” I’m glad you asked. The first thing any new CFO would do is to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the company.
As God’s CFO, the first step is to find out where your money is currently invested by getting your portfolio (your retirement and investment accounts) screened to find out what business practices you are currently investing in. (Go to www.beaconwealth.com and click on the “Screen My Portfolio” box.) You can enter in the symbols of the stocks or mutual funds you own and find out what kind of business you are investing in. If you have questions on how to do that, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be glad to help you out.
The CFO holds great power in aligning the company’s finances with the goals that have been set before him. As you know, with great power, comes great responsibility. If you really believe God owns it all, then take some time today to see what kind of business practices you are investing in!
Financial Planning & Investment Advisory services offered through Beacon Wealth Consultants, Inc.