Confidence: an “article” of faith
by Arnold Machel, CFP®
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
– Philippians 4:19 (NIV)
Are you among the 77% of Canadians who feel confident they’ll be able to achieve their 2018 financial goals? Would you be significantly less confident (along with 59% of the population) if interest rates rose (as they have been and as they are further expected to)? How’s your savings rate? Are you among the 70% who say that they worry they’re not saving enough?
Towards the end of 2017, CIBC conducted an online financial confidence poll with 1,524 randomly selected adults. In addition to the above they found that men were more confident than women and that among those who were confident, their confidence grew from changes such as stock market increases, minimum wage hikes and economic growth. Interestingly while 37% of men indicated that a rising stock market would increase their confidence, only 21% of women felt the same way.
While the results above initially imply a relatively confident Canada, it’s troubling that the confidence appears to be only at a surface level, easily displaced by something we all know is happening (an interest rate hike) and is likely to continue. Also troubling is that the confidence is not based on something we control, such as our own savings. Interest rates are known to be on the rise and most Canadians feel that they are not saving enough, yet we still say we are confident. What then is the basis for our Canadian confidence? Is it just a feeling or is there something concrete behind it all?
Our faith should have a significant impact on our confidence. As Christians, we have an obligation to be confident in the future; but our hope is not in wealth, rather it is in God. He will not always just give us all our wants, but He has indeed promised to provide our needs. “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matt 6: 26, NIV). The problem is that we often blur the line between what we want and what we sincerely need.
Does that mean we should simply trust that God will provide and not take any responsibility ourselves? Of course not. Even Jesus, knowing full well what the future held, expended effort to make the future happen. He did that because that’s what our Father expected of him, and He expects the same of us. When Paul discovered that there were freeloaders in Thessalonica, he wrote “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.’ We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat.” (2 Thes. 3:10-12)
As Christians, we should be the most confident of all people. We should be the Pollyannas of this world, always seeing the world through God’s rose-coloured glasses. We can be confident knowing that He will provide, and we should be ever thankful for that provision. But at the same time, we should be the hardest working and the most productive, doing our very best for our employers, our churches, our families and everyone around us to make their lives better, richer and more enjoyable.
God has very graciously placed us in the best place on earth during the best time in history. How can we be anything but confident and thankful for His provision? How can we do anything but use the vast wealth that He has placed in our trust to help move His kingdom forward?
So, what will you do in 2018 to boost your confidence and to increase your productivity?
Arnold Machel, CFP(r) lives, works and worships in the White Rock/South Surrey area. He attends Gracepoint Community Church where he serves on the Leadership Team. He is a Certified Financial Planner with IPC Investment Corporation and Visionvest Financial Planning & Services. Questions and comments can be directed to him at email@example.com or through his website at www.visionvest.ca Please note that all comments are of a general nature and should not be relied upon as individual advice. The views and opinions expressed in this commentary may not necessarily reflect those of IPC Investment Corporation. While every attempt is made to ensure accuracy, facts and figures are not guaranteed.
Arnold is now accepting a limited number of invitations to speak for the 2018 calendar year. If you are interested in having him speak to your congregation or other group regarding money matters, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (604) 542-2818, with your preferred date and time.