The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

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Church of Christ

08/03/2010

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Diversivication Of Investments


"Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again. Give portions to seven, yes to eight, for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land" (Eccl. 11:1-2).

From an investment standpoint, I do not have much of a portfolio. As a matter of fact, I don't think that I have one at all. Solomon uses a couple of interesting metaphors here to get us to a lesson which I think is about benevolence. Shipping by sea was a way in Solomon's day to send out a commodity with the expectation of a better return. Casting your bread upon the water may have meant to ship your grain across the sea to another land and get paid well for it. This would be an entrepreneurial venture because of the risks involved in sea trade...It would be considered one of those "nothing ventured, nothing gained" things. Verse two of today's lesson continues in a similar vein, by telling one to invest in seven or eight ventures, because some may succeed and others might fail...The old "don't put all your eggs into one basket" philosophy. So, how are we going to dovetail this into a lesson for the day? Well, the New Living Translation of the Bible renders the first two verses of chapter eleven like this; "Give generously, for your gifts will return to you later. Divide your gifts among many, for you do not know what risks might lie ahead." Whether this is a more accurate rendering of the scripture, I do not know, but it does give us pause for thought.

Charity and benevolence should be practiced with no expectation of ever getting it back. Instead of sending one's grain across the sea, I see here a just "throwing it in." No return for our investment, at least monetary, is expected. The reward however is a much larger one. The Bible is rife with teachings about giving to those less fortunate than ourselves. "Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you" (Matt. 5:42)..."Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap" (Luke 6:38). As Solomon struggles with those aspects of life that are often perplexing..... he finds a solution in being charitable. To him, being charitable will lay the groundwork for a return of blessings. This view is very much in line with New Testament teaching. "Remember this: 'Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously' ......for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor. 9:6-7). That Solomon guy was pretty smart after all, wasn't he....

Have a wonderful day... Go about doing good... love mark Phil. 4:11

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