by James Paulin

The stock market has two basic motivations, fear and greed. One principal is that sensible transactions should be based on the motto “buy low and sell high”. Given these two potent facts, in spite of endless, often contradictory, financial expert opinions, many investors buy high (greed) and sell low (fear) thus losing their treasure. Common wisdom is to be a long term investor because as a general direction, the market trend is up. Hopefully, when one needs or chooses to sell they make a rewarding profit. Of course, this endeavor requires investment of capital, patience, wisdom and faith. Short term profits are possible but are riskier and require more savvy.

In comparison, the spiritual world has much in common with finance. Heaven and hell are traditionally depicted as perfected joy (greatly desired) and eternal fire (feared). Born into not only a physical but moral circumstance, choices must be determined based on where time and energy are spent and what rewards are to be gained. The ultimate goal is security and well being or peace and joy. Approaches are individually determined but wise investments still take patience and faith to arrive in paradise. Risk is part of the decision making process as values are weighed and brought to bear or dismissed.

We can be assured that the road to paradise will not be without obstacles and detours. For many their perseverance and deeds will be remarkable and for most there is trial and failure with disappointing times prevalent. Fortunately, God provides a way to attain glory with Him in spite of our misguided choices or more grievous offences. The sins of the stock market are unforgiving and exacting. However, Jesus paid for all the mistakes and wrongdoing of those who accept His gift of self sacrifice even if it is embraced at the very end. When Jesus was recognized, nailed to the cross as the Savior by the thief crucified next to Him, His words of absolution were “This day you will be with me in paradise”.

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