A person should use their money to invest in efforts to build up and encourage God's family, says Saddleback Church pastor and best-selling author Rick Warren.
In an entry of the online devotional "Rick Warren's Daily Hope" published Saturday, Warren stated that God "wants you to learn to love and invest in other people in God's family."
Warren referred to this process of investing in other believers as the "Mutual Fund," which involved "using some of your money to encourage fellowship, to build relationships, and to demonstrate love."
"Any time you give your money to God, it draws you closer to God. Any time you give your money to someone, it draws you closer to that person. When you give money to people in your small group or invest in your small group, you grow closer to them," wrote Warren.
"Any time you write a note of encouragement, you've invested in the Mutual Fund. Any time you prepare or buy a meal and take it to somebody who's sick, you've just invested in the Mutual Fund. Any time you open up your home to your small group and you provide refreshments and that costs you, you've just invested in the Mutual Fund."
Warren went on to explain that this way of encouraging fellowship was biblical, quoting 2 Corinthians 9:12-13, as rendered by the New Century Version of the Bible.
"This service you do not only helps the needs of God's people, it also brings many more thanks to God. It is a proof of your faith. Many people will praise God because you obey the Good News of Christ — the gospel you say you believe — and because you freely share with them and with all others," read the verses.
The author of the best-seller The Purpose-Driven Life also spoke about the importance of investing in higher ideals in a devotional entry published on Sunday.
Titled "Invest in Your Character, Not Your Comfort," the Sunday entry encouraged believers to invest in things that build personal character rather than personal wealth.
"You grow in spiritual strength by using your money to develop skills and educate yourself, to become a better leader, a better speaker, a better prayer, or just a better person," reasoned Warren.
"I hate to tell you this, but you're not taking your car to Heaven with you. You're not taking your condo or your couch or your clothes or your china to Heaven."
Warren then noted in the Sunday devotional entry that he considered such character expenditures as contributing to a "Growth Fund."
"Any time you use some of your money to pay for a retreat or a conference that helps you improve your life, you've invested in the Growth Fund," added Warren.
"You can spend your money on junk food or soul food. Choose to spend your money on food for your soul that helps you grow spiritually."