So encouraged and challenged by the words of John Mark Comer from his new book, Live No Lies. It’s a message that our generation and our culture at large needs to hear and respond to. Truth that inspires change….
Have you ever sat down with a financial adviser to plan out your long-term financial goals and retirement?
I have this vivid memory from my early twenties when I landed my first-ever salaried job. What a great feeling! It wasn’t much, but we had enough each month to pay the bills and a little left over.
One of the elders at our church worked as an investment banker, and he was kind enough to sit down with T and me and offer us free financial planning. It was all pretty basic—spend less than you make, invest in a Roth IRA for retirement, and so on.
But the part I still remember the most was when he explained compound interest to me. My eyes bulged, not when he explained the theory of it, but when he calculated my finances over the next forty-five years and turned it into a graph.
The balance rises slowly over time. Assuming you don’t start investing until post college or your early twenties, there’s not much to get excited about up through your thirties. In your forties, okay, looking better.”
Then in your fifties, the miracle of compound interest kicks in and, boom, all those monies you’ve been patiently stashing away begin to multiply at an exponential rate.
And I remember our elder/adviser (thanks again, Steve) giving me the absolute best piece of advice. He said, “It’s less about how much you invest each month and more about how early you start.”
The stats are crazy. Let’s say you invest 5k a year starting from the age of eighteen and then you stop after ten years (a total investment of 50k). You will still have more money at retirement than if you were to invest 5k a year starting from the age of twenty-eight and not stopping until retirement (a total investment of 200k). With a little care and discipline, even those who live paycheck to paycheck can accumulate modest wealth over a lifetime.
This is the miracle of compound interest, which—and here’s my point—is not only a financial reality but also a life-as-a-whole reality.
The theologian Cornelius Plantinga said this about Paul’s words to the Galatians:
No matter what we sow, the law of returns applies.
Good or evil, love or hate, justice or tyranny, grapes or thorns, a gracious compliment or a peevish complaint—whatever we invest, we tend to get it back with interest. Lovers are loved; haters, hated. Forgivers usually get forgiven; those who live by the sword die by the sword. “God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow.”
This is just how things are in the universe. “God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” isn’t a command but a statement about reality. Trying to cheat the law of returns is like trying to get around the law of gravity. Good luck with that.
And Paul applied the law of returns not to a retirement nest egg for people with privilege but to our spiritual formation.
By way of reminder, spiritual formation is the process by which we are formed into a certain kind of person, good or evil.
Every time we sow to the flesh—or put another way, every time we give in to our flesh’s desire to sin—we plant something in the soil of our hearts, which then begins to take root, grow, and, eventually, yield the harvest of a deformed nature.
Thankfully, the same is true of the Spirit.
Every time you sow to the Spirit and invest the resources of your mind and body into nurturing your inner man or woman’s connection to the Spirit of God, you plant something deep in the humus of your central fulcrum, which, over time, takes root and bears the fruit of a Christlike character.
-John Mark Comer
Anxiously anticipating the start of my job at Sutter on November 1st…thankful for this rest space, but I miss those mamas and babes and can’t wait to get back to that purpose.
*This book…Live No Lies. One of my favorite pastors discussing a topic that is crucial to our current cultural space. A MUST READ!
*Young Living Essential Oil Highlight: Essential Oil Christmas goodness is here! The Young Living Christmas Catalog is here and has so many amazing products. Two of my favorites are the vanilla and Christmas Spirit essential Oil. Use my member number (3054715) at checkout to save 24% off and become a part of our Young Living Family!
Love on your people & keep in perspective your beautiful legacy in light of eternity.…
Love and Blessings,