I learned a new word last week from Luke: pleonexia. So I thought I would share the discussion that ensued.
In philanthropy and investing, I often hear family/board members carry the weight of:
I need to invest our assets so the mission (grant-making) can continue into perpetuity
Too often, what’s crouching right alongside that desire to evaluate the investment manager based on whether they’re getting that 8% percent return or not is what Luke Bretherton helps us see as pleonexia (greed).
You can listen to the 20 minute conversation here (links to podcast sites) or here:
We were reading Colossians together when the greek word pleonexia first arose and that’s what led me to be curious about the “vortex” that Luke described.
In this conversation Luke brings Aristotle and Plato as well as the Gospels of Matthew and Mark to help us understand and better see our mandate as ethical stewards of endowment assets
Luke helps us unpack our primary call as Christians — to love God and our neighbor and together we try to apply that to the times in our lives when we do investing — especially on behalf of foundations or family offices.
Luke makes practical theology accessible. This is the work the Francesco Collaborative picks up on and develops further in our Livable Future Investing workshop community — where we seek to lift up specific examples of funds, enterprises, investment opportunities where we can live out what’s described here.
My favorite part is in the last two minutes
“This is not a condemnation…” Luke clarifies… and invites us into what I see is our most important work.
Luke offers a blessing that invites us to truthfulness and forgiveness.
For me, it begs the question: Am I telling myself the truth about my investments?
In my focus on trying to get a 5% return — am I subordinating my faith to the vortex of money begetting more money and not the good of the city… and my desire to love God above all else?
I encourage you to take a listen: