Putting All Your Eggs in One Basket

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”     Matthew 5:3


“I’ve got a hot stock tip for you!”

If you’ve ever dabbled in the stock market, you’ve probably heard this phrase. Translated it means, “If you take my advice you’re either going to make a lot of money…or lose your shirt (although that part is never discussed).

Let me share with you a recent shirt-confiscating investment. Ventrus Biosciences is a pharmaceutical company that was a few weeks away from introducing a new drug to the market. The FDA schedules approval dates in advance, so it’s typical to see the price rise as that date gets closer. From everything I could tell, this was a slam dunk. Testing had gone great and the company was gearing up to start marketing the drug. It was going to be a blockbuster.

With a “sure thing” on the horizon, I pulled the trigger with a sizeable investment. Then I set back and started planning my retirement on my own personal Caribbean island. Oh, I’d work a few more weeks so I wouldn’t put my coworkers in a bind. It was the least I could do for those poor schmucks that had to work for a living. It was a great plan…but somebody forgot to tell the FDA.

Yep, reeeejected! The FDA rejected the drug and before any mere mortal could respond to the news, Wall Street crushed the stock. My fingers were flying to enter the sell order, but the damage was done.   I lost 62% on that trade. You can still see the tear stains on my unused two-week notice.

Most financial experts preach diversification to avoid this kind of loss. “Don’t put all your eggs into one basket,” as the old saying goes. Solomon knew this; in Ecclesiastes 11:2 he writes “Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth.” I wonder if Solomon had a run-in with the FDA?

Eggs

Last Sunday, Pastor Scott began a new series on the Beatitudes. The first lesson was about being poor in spirit. He used the term “spiritually bankrupt” which got me to thinking. Poor financial decisions (and stock trades) can certainly lead to bankruptcy. Financial bankruptcy implies that things have gotten so bad you can no longer pay the debts you’ve accumulated. You have no choice but to throw yourself on the mercy of the court.

Spiritual bankruptcy is similar. It means we’ve reached a point in our lives where we realize we’ve accumulated debts (sins) that we cannot pay back. We take our broken lives to a loving God and throw ourselves on His mercy. His solution is different than the financial gurus. The Father wants us to put all our eggs in one basket – Jesus Christ. If we turn our lives over the Christ and single-mindedly invest in the Kingdom, those debts will be erased. I may not be able to retire early to a private island, but a mansion in heaven is a much better outcome.

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