In Numbers 13:1-24, God tells Moses to send some Israelite leaders -- one from each tribe -- to explore the land of Canaan that God was giving to the Israelites (v1-2). Moses sends these leaders out with some very specific questions to answer (v18-20), such as:
- what is the land like? How fertile or poor is it? What kind of vegetation is there?
- who are the people who live there? Are they strong or weak? Are they few or many?
- what are the towns there like? Are the towns exposed or walled?
What was Moses doing? He was doing something that businesspeople, accountants and lawyers call "due diligence". What is due diligence? It means to carefully investigate the person, place, or opportunity you are planning on investing in BEFORE you actually invest. It's about finding out as much as you can about that potential investment before you formally say "yes", so that you can determine early on with minimal cost, "Is this really a good investment? Or are there some major problems or risks that would make this a difficult or dumb investment?"
Have you ever invested yourself in something (perhaps a relationship, a business, a career, an organization, or some other opportunity), and thought to yourself, "I wish I had thought this through and done more research before I said yes!" Foolish people wait until after they've already said "yes" before they notice the problems and risks. By then it is often too late, and to back out would require doing some severe damage to your relationships, your reputation and your resources.
Here's the much better way: before you make any investment of yourself, do your "due diligence". Be clear on what you are getting yourself into before you get into it. Ask for advice from experienced experts you respect. You can't predict every risk or problem that you will encounter, but you can certainly minimize dumb decisions through due diligence.
As Jesus says in Luke 14:28-32, count the cost before you build and do your due diligence before you go to war.
If you will do your due diligence before you dive in, you will save yourself and others a lot of trouble, heartbreak, and wasted time and resources. You will minimize the number of regretful decisions you make. At the same time you will become a wiser investor, knowing what to watch out for and what risks to avoid. If you do your due diligence.
May you be a wise investor of what God has given you. Do your due diligence before you dive in.