Stewardship….Jacob Style

by Seph Romana

When I was a wee bit younger, I couldn’t fathom why major highways had to have speed maximum speed limits. I’d understand the minimum limit…that makes the expressway an expressway. But the maximum? C’mon, ain’t it a bit of a killjoy to suppress my jalopy’s abundance of horsepower? I figured it would be a complete waste of resources if I don’t maximize my jalopy’s 10 horsepower engine! Come to think of it, at 10 horsepower, I’d be breaking the MINIMUM speed limit. Oh well. :/

Kidding aside, speed can kill. The faster we go, the higher the risk of running into problems, fatal ones possibly. Several times I almost got into trouble because of over speeding. Thank God they weren’t the fatal kinds of mistakes. I’ve learned much since then, thanks to my wife and my mum. I drive much cooler and slower now to minimize the chances of me getting into trouble. I drive even slower when the baby entrusted to our household’s care is riding.

Jacob had the same thing in mind when he connected again with his older brother Esau. In Genesis 33:12-14, Jacob preferred that Esau go ahead at his pace and him at his children’s and livestock’s pace because if they travelled faster just to keep up with Esau’s pack, the livestock may die. Jacob knew there was no significant benefit to travelling faster while the risk of death to his livestock (his existing wealth) is significant. Jacob, without him knowing it, has just showed us a very good example of personal finance management.

Patience

In his excitement and relief with Esau’s surprisingly cordial reception of him, Jacob did not let his heart rule his mind. He didn’t let his emotions get the better of him and travel faster than his caravan’s pace. In doing so, he preserved them thereby allowing them to reproduce later.

Many are lured by the allure of get-rich-quick schemes, even if red flags abound. Why? Because of impatience. And many of them lose their wealth or what’s left of it. Think of the depositors duped by the Legacy Group’s rural banks that offered exorbitant interest rates and freebies at a time when all other banks offer exorbitantly low ones.

Or how about those duped by Aman Futures in Mindanao? They practically lost all they had. This is what Proverbs 21:5 was warning of: “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.

sephromana

Knowledge

A key investment principle is that of the relationship of risk and return: the higher the risk, the higher the return. If an investor were to take a higher risk, it must be with the expectation of a significantly higher return. Esau’s proposal however, was a losing one at the onset: high risk of loss to his livestock with practically no significant benefit. Regardless of the pace, Esau and Jacob’s relationship was already restored! Jacob KNEW this and hence he acted accordingly.

Sadly, many people would’ve done the opposite if they were in Jacob’s shoes. Out of excited ignorance, they would easily put their hard-earned money in “investments” that are ripe with red flags to begin with. And they perished financially.

“My people perish for lack of knowledge” – Hosea 4:6

The best way to minimize perishing due to ignorance is acquiring knowledge and seeking wisdom. Financial knowledge can be gained by reading and attending seminars. Wisdom can be gained by fearing the Lord (Proverbs 9:10) and by asking from Him who does not withhold it (James 1:5-8).

May we all be like Jacob in being faithful stewards of God’s resources: patient and knowledgeable.

Have a blessed week ahead. God bless y’all.

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