Daily Summary: Is comparing good? Investment vs. Gambling

Fast listened to the last part of the Reformed Forum (Rob & Bob's discussion) podcast: The Fruit of the Spirit: Self-Control. It was mentioned that "comparing" is wrong. I disagree. It's good to compare, if the desire is to better oneself and not by means to covet another's. The discussion supported improvement, but an improvement without comparing is still lacking. The problem I think, in this modern Christendom is the fear of shame and the twisted interpretation of it thereof. There is no shame in learning from guilt. There is no shame in defeat, in losing after comparison, if the end goal is to praise God. They fail to see how to praise God from comparing.

I have revisited the subject of stock market...is it investment or gambling. Oh but people would love to argue on this. One is simply the excuse of another.

They both involve the guessing game of risk taking. I'll make this distinction:
Investment: When money is put out for care of the organization. For example, if I work at Microsoft and I bought Microsoft shares, I have a care of the company where I work. If I bought shares of those whose interests align with mine more than just profit. When there is loss, you feel the loss of the organization and its workers; when there is gain, you feel connected to them as well.
Gambling: When money is put out for care only of the profit. For example, I bought shares of companies I don't care of, only that I heard they are going to be big and thus rip great profit. I don't need to know how Microsoft works, it does not interest me. I don't want to know anything about the life at Microsoft, just how much it is making, like a farmer who cares not for the cow but the milk.

Thus, I would say, many fail here. But then many are not Christians, so that's that. I recall many Chinese who came to U.S. talked about stocks in church. I cannot tell if they were investing or gambling, but I would be impressed if they were investing. Bottom line, Investors and Gamblers are categorized as 商. Yes, gamblers are part of 商.Thus, rather low level they are in the scale of honorable occupations according to the traditional Chinese standard which is also quite biblical per Stephen Tong: 士,农,工,商,兵。And I would arrange it in this order within 商 (from better to worse):Investors, gamblers, tax/interest collectors. Yes, those who make money using money are the lowest kind (not far from the concept of Psalm 15:5). What of 兵 then? Those are not the likes of the American soldiers who sacrifice their own lives for the betterment of their nation, which are different than traditional Chinese soldiers. That's liken to today's dictators and their puppets. Then what of the difference between (士,农,工) and 商? Then it's a matter of prioritization, where one's treasure lies, there his/her money will be. The golden rule is, how close is this to do with the walk with God.

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