Long-Term Investment

I would not consider myself a financial investment expert by any stretch of the imagination. However, I do understand the elementary principle of sowing and reaping as it applies to finances. Simply put, we plant (invest) today with anticipation that the seeds we sow will bring a harvest (return) on some tomorrow. Of course, there is nothing wrong with enjoying our financial blessings today- - but to do so without regard for the future can be a big mistake. 

Sigmund Freud often told a story that is applicable to this thought about a sailor who shipwrecked on a South Sea Island. When he awoke he found himself on the shoulders of natives who carried him and placed him on a crude throne. Wanting to know what this all meant, he asked them a number of questions. Obviously, one of the questions was why they had placed him on this throne.

As they explained their customs it was pointed out that each year they selected a new king for the island and they had chosen him for the next year. At first he was rather flattered thinking, “I am a king! I can have anything that I want!” But then he began wondering what had happened to all the previous kings.

He inquired and learned that in order to avoid competition between kings, the old ones were placed on deserted islands to starve to death. Suddenly, his thrill of being a king lost its luster! Unwilling to accept their short-term plan, he developed his own long-term plan. First, he found out which island he would be sentenced to after his reign ended. Next, he hired carpenters to build boats in which he transported fruit trees and food items to plant to sustain his appetite while there. He then sent carpenters and masons to build shelters for housing and storage. Later he sent clothing along with all others items that were necessary for survival. Hence, by the time his year’s reign came to an end, he had his “retirement” island sufficiently equipped to last a lifetime.

A more important long-term investment we need to consider is in our spiritual future. Living only for today is also foolish; but investing in our eternal destiny is wise indeed! Jesus gave us the best investment counsel of all in these practical words: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20).

That being said, “Is your life’s investment short-term or long-term?”