Sermon Illustrations

Traders vs. Investors

We all have seen the effect of those who have given up on the economy.

In his newspaper column called “Market Report,” Bill Barnhart once explained the difference between investors and traders in the stock market.

“A trader in a stock,” writes Barnhart, “is making decisions minute-by-minute in the hope of shaving off profits measured in fractions of a dollar. … An investor, on the other hand, typically buys or sells a stock based on views about the company and the economy at large.”

In other words, traders are wheelers and dealers. They pursue short-term profits. Traders may have no confidence whatsoever in the companies in which they buy stock but they buy, smelling an immediate payoff.

By contrast, investors are in it for the long haul. They “chain themselves to the mast.” Investors commit their money to a stock, believing that over a period of years and even decades the stock will pay strong dividends and steadily grow in value. Investors aren’t flustered by the typical ups and downs of the market because they believe in the quality of the company, its leaders, and its product.

In the kingdom of God there are also investors and traders. They come to Christ with very different goals. Traders in the kingdom want God to improve their lot in this world. If following Christ means pain or hardship, they sell out.

But investors in the kingdom stay true to Christ no matter what happens in this world, knowing that eternal dividends await them (Larson, Craig Brian: 750 Engaging Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers & Writers. Grand Rapids, MI : Baker Books, 2002, S. 68).

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