Christian Financial Advice and Biblical Stewardship

Avoiding Get- Rich Quick Schemes

  • 2003 16 Jun
Avoiding  Get- Rich Quick Schemes
It is amazing how susceptible Christians are to get-rich-quick schemes and how logical they seem at first. Every year thousands of Christian families risk and lose money they can’t afford to lose, while seeking that "big deal." There never has been a get-rich-quick scheme that didn’t sound terrific on the surface. However, the promoters are a great deal better at disguising the bad deals than most people are at detecting them.

How then can Christians avoid all such schemes? "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5). Below is a list of a few of the basic principles dealing with how to avoid get-rich-quick schemes.

Stick with what you know
"By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established" (Proverbs 24:3). Seldom will anyone be duped into a get-rich-quick scheme in his or her area of expertise. The vast majority of people who make money do it in the field in which they have the most training and experience. Those who lose it usually do so in an area they know little about.

Don’t risk borrowed money
"A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, the naive proceed and pay the penalty" (Proverbs 27:12). It’s one thing to speculate with money that you can afford to lose and quite another to lose money that literally belongs to another. The former is called speculation; the latter is surety. "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth" (Proverbs 27:1).

Buy investments with utility
"She considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies belts to the tradesmen" (Proverbs 31:16, 24). Utility simply means buying something of use to someone else. Most get-rich-quick schemes deal with intangibles, or at least remote tangibles.

Don’t make quick decisions
"The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty" (Proverbs 21:5). The very essence of a get-rich-quick scheme is emotionalism. The promoter urges the potential buyer to act quickly before the opportunity is missed. The final ploy is to develop an attitude of covetousness by hinting that another prospect is waiting to snap up the deal. What is the best way to avoid this trap? "Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes" (Psalm 37:7).

Seek good counsel
"The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel" (Proverbs 12:15). It is amazing how quickly someone who is not emotionally involved with a get-rich-quick scheme can spot its flaws. Good, objective Christian counsel should be a prerequisite to any major financial decision. That counsel is most objective when it comes from someone who has no profit motive involved.

To avoid these get-rich-quick financial traps, you must establish your standards by God’s Word: seek God’s plan for your life, stick with what you know, seek good counsel, and wait on God’s peace before acting. "It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich, and He adds no sorrow to it" (Proverbs 10:22).