Faith

Upholding Christian Science Beliefs through Impact Investing

Since its early days, dedication to thoughtful, diligent entrepreneurship has been an important part of Christian Science. Left penniless when her husband abandoned her, founder Mary Baker Eddy needed to support herself. According to the Mary Baker Eddy Library, she earned money teaching Christian Science beliefs and healing methods, publishing numerous editions of her writings, and investing in real estate. In 1907, her estate was valued at $1 million, the equivalent of $25 million today.

At the core of Christian Science beliefs is the elevation of the spiritual world over the material one. By approaching investing with a spiritual perspective, Christian Scientists may be able to leverage opportunities to carry out the central principles of Christian Science by understanding the role of investing, having the right motives when making decisions, and being both fearless and patient.

Investing as a Way to Manage God’s Resources

One of the principles of Christian Science is that God created everything. All human endeavors, including business, are included in creation. Christian Scientists are tasked with managing creation responsibly and engaging in activities that will create a positive return.

A 1965 article on investing in the Christian Science Sentinel discusses successful investing as an activity that draws on intelligence, reasoning, and intuition, all of which are considered God-derived talents. Using these talents to conduct research and invest in constructive enterprises is not only more likely to lead to long-term financial success, but it may also make use of creation in ways that generate abundance, says this tradition. From the start, Christian Scientist investors may want to consider having the right motives and doing the work required to ensure that their investments both make the most of and add to the good in the world.

Make Decisions from a Position of Gratitude

Much recent academic research on investing has looked at investor behavior and the ways that people allow their emotions to interfere with financial decisions. Likewise, experienced traders say that trading mistakes often stem from doubt, fear, greed, or overconfidence. The teachings of Mary Baker Eddy warn against these thoughts and urge having the right motives.

Balance Fearlessness and Patience

No matter what, all investments carry a certain amount of risk that must be weathered appropriately. Two principles that may help investors keep a long-term perspective on risk management include fearlessness and patience. Mary Baker Eddy taught her followers to approach decisions rationally and without fear and to be patient when waiting for results. Christian Scientists may want to favor careful action when it comes to investing. According to an article in the Christian Science Sentinel, “by thoughtfully, even prayerfully, looking for companies that represent good ideas put to work responsibly, we are investing in a meaningful contribution to communities and the world. We practice ethical and wise stewardship of our funds.”

By using church principles and Eddy’s wisdom to create a balanced investment perspective, Christian Scientist investors may be able to resist emotional trading and concentrate on the right motives for their investments. The result could be a portfolio guided by church beliefs that makes a difference in the world and leads to increased personal prosperity.

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