Editor’s note: A version of this excerpt first appeared in the October 2022 issue of Lead magazine.
Hedging is a common term in the investing world, but the idea existed long before the stock market. In fact, you may have heard people describe the “hedge around the law” that the Pharisees built in Old Testament times.
For example, while the Law required that Israelites not work the 24 hours of the Sabbath, some Pharisees would teach that people should not work for 25 hours, just to be safe. While this mindset may have been well-intentioned, it completely missed the purpose of what God was trying to teach his people.
Now, we’re seeing that mindset creep into the hearts of investors. We opt for playing it safe, “just in case.” Paul instructs us to “not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of [our] mind[s]” (Rom. 12:2). Yet the pattern of this world instructs us to have a large retirement account, diversified investments, or a financial nest egg.
If I look at my life, much of what I do regarding my investments amounts to a hedge. When we spend all our energy and efforts hedging against risk, hedging against inflation, hedging against this or that, our entire life becomes a hedge. And when we avoid risk, we often end up avoiding what God is doing in the world.
A few years ago, an entrepreneur contacted me to share about his real estate company in Moldova. I thought he had contacted the wrong person. I’m not sure how to calculate a cap rate, and at the time I wasn’t even sure that Moldova was a country. We talked, and after hearing his pitch, I politely told him that we couldn’t invest in what he was doing.
The entrepreneur thanked me for my time, but before he let me go, he asked if I would set up more time to help him understand what it meant to be a “faith-driven entrepreneur” (to cite the ministry I cofounded). He knew my background and knew that faith was important to me, so much so that he still wanted to talk, even if he wouldn’t receive any money.
Just moments before, I had all but written this phone call off. Frankly, I had only agreed to talk out of obligation. Perhaps a better ending to this story would have involved me taking a huge risk and making a substantial profit. But that’s not what happened. What happened is I caught myself ignoring what God was doing in a country halfway around the world. From then on, my perspective on risk changed completely.
Adapted from Faith Driven Investing by Henry Kaestner, Timothy Keller, Andy Crouch, Cathie Wood, et al. Copyright © 2023. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved.
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