When one thinks of the word investment, the mind moves to monetary matters. However, as many know, time can also be invested. It is perhaps the greatest investment we will ever make in our lives. Before this is continued, there must be a clear distinction in spending and investing. Spending is frivolous, not intending to get back what was spent, other than the goods and services spent on. Investment happens when one is intending to get a return greater than what was put into. Therefore, what do we spend and/or invest our time and money into? Initially, ourselves. We take care of ourselves in various ways, such as food, shelter, and clothing. Then, that money and time spreads elsewhere if we allow it.
What defines a Kingdom investment?
Is your time and money being put into God things, or simply good things? This is the difference in a regular investment and a Kingdom investment. While most investments, whether time or money, are typically put forth with good intentions, they may not have God’s blessing. Those that are for His greater glory are the Kingdom investments. In a mentoring situation, which one is making the investment? Is it the wiser mentor, transferring knowledge and wisdom to the mentee? Or is it the mentee? You probably already know this is a trick question. Those that are blessed to be a mentor or mentee are both investing! You invest in each other, in yourselves, and your relationship with God. If you are doing what He has called you to do, it is a Kingdom investment to you both.
Invest in Yourself
Matthew 7:5 states “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Further enhancing your relationship with God will create better circumstances in which you can invest in others. You must invest in yourself so that you have something to give others. This includes, but is not limited to, a healthy diet, an exercise routine, mental health awareness, and so on. It is okay to be a giver sometimes, and it is encouraged to put others first. However, this cannot happen all the time, or you will be drained. Never underestimate the power of self-care. God is certainly aware of it. Look at 1 Kings 19:3-8. Be advised, it is a bit long.
“3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 5 Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 6 He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. 7 The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” 8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.”
To summarize these verses, when Elijah could not continue, God suggested a nap and some food. Elijah invested in himself, and through God, he was given the strength to travel many days and nights to safety. Elijah proceeded to invest in the Kingdom in various ways. Take this as an example to invest in yourself first!
Get Out There
In these times especially, community investment is more important than ever. Even if it is just getting rid of some things for a thrift store or giving to the homeless person. You never know the impact you have! You may not change someone’s life immediately, but you can certainly plant seeds. That’s the fun part: you can never run out of those seeds to plant within others. Just as a meal and rest should not be underestimated, never underestimate the power of a few words. Your words can affect those in ways you’d never expect, whether they are forces for good or bad. In this new year, let us strive to invest more than we did last year. Let us be avid about Kingdom investing!
To get more information and join the South Carolina Christian Chamber of Commerce (SC-C3) movement, go to www.sc-c3.org and become a member today!
Cameron Jordan is a third-year mechanical engineering student at The Citadel in Charleston, SC. Cameron can be reached at email@example.com.