When I began working with churches, helping them build their endowment programs, everyone else was telling them to play it safe, put their money in CDs and money market accounts. I made a bold proposition to the church boards: Why not take the same money, invest in the communities and people around you? Why not rehab or build affordable homes for families? Why not give?
By the way, not only is it not wrong to expect a return on an investment—even our giving—but in some places the Bible infers it may be a sin not to have a positive expectation and faith that your "sowing" will reap rewards. The faithful servant in one parable (Matthew 25) was honored for investing this way, expecting a return, while his fellow servants who "played it safe" were really scolded.
So much of what we're talking about flies in the face of Conventional Wisdom. But if you follow "normal" thinking, you'll make pretty common decisions that will result in a mediocre life. How can I say this? Let's use my area of business expertise as an example. Most businesses, some say as many as 97 out of 100, fail in the first three years. Most of their owners are probably making pretty normal decisions, but their decisions are all based on Conventional Wisdom. And the numbers prove that this is a fatal mistake.
To their credit, these business owners have pushed ...