Counsels on Stewardship


Chapter 46—The Temptation to Speculate

Satan has destroyed many souls by leading them to place themselves in the way of temptation. He comes to them as he came to Christ, tempting them to love the world. He tells them that they may invest with profit in this or that enterprise, and in good faith they follow his dictation. CS 236.1

Soon they are tempted to swerve from their integrity in order to make as good bargains for themselves as possible. Their course may be perfectly lawful, according to the world's standard of right, and yet not bear the test of the law of God. Their motives are called in question by their brethren, and they are suspected of overreaching to serve themselves, and thus is sacrificed that precious influence which should have been sacredly guarded for the benefit of the cause of God. The business which might be a financial success in the hands of a sharper who will sell his integrity for worldly gain, would be entirely inappropriate for a follower of Christ. CS 236.2

All such speculations are attended with unseen trials and difficulties, and are a fearful ordeal for those who engage in them. Circumstances often occur which naturally cause reflections to be cast upon the motives of these brethren; but although some things may look decidedly wrong, these should not always be considered a true test of character. Yet they often prove to be the turning point in one's experience and destiny. The character becomes transformed by the force of circumstances under which the individual has placed himself. CS 236.3

A Dangerous Experiment

I was shown that it is a dangerous experiment for our people to engage in speculation. They thereby place themselves on the enemy's ground, subject to great temptations, disappointments, trials, and losses. Then comes a feverish unrest, a longing desire to obtain means more rapidly than present circumstances will admit. Their surroundings are accordingly changed, in hope of making more money. But frequently their expectations are not realized, and they become discouraged and go backward rather than forward. This has been the case with some in—. They are backsliding from God. CS 237.1

Had the Lord prospered some of our dear brethren in their speculations, it would have proved their eternal ruin. God loves His people, and He loves those who have been unfortunate. If they will learn the lessons which He intends to teach them, their defeat will in the end prove a precious victory. The love of the world has crowded out the love of Christ. When the rubbish is cleared away from the door of the heart, and it is thrown open in response to the invitation of Christ, He will come in and take possession of the soul temple.—Testimonies for the Church 4:616-618. CS 237.2