Join us today for Part 2 of the Interview with Jared Williams, host of the Biblical Wealth Podcast...
This is Part 2 of the interview I had with podcast host and Biblical Wealth Advisor Jared Williams.
In today’s interview with Jared Williams, we talk about wealth building as a Christian. We also share with you how money can get in the way of relationships but what you can do about it. Jared and I also talk with you about ways we can use finances to invest in others well.
Join in on the Chat below.
00:00:00 Thanks for joining us on episode 721 of the inspired stewardship podcast. I'm Jared Williams with biblical wealth solutions. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence and impact the world by using your time, your talent and your treasure to live out your calling, having the ability to invest without compromising your Christian values is key. And one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this,
00:00:26 the inspired stewardship podcast with my friend, Scott Mader, 90, becoming an idol in our relationship with God. And you know, that that's been a challenge for me. I, you know, just transparently, you know, Jesus tells us if our, you know, our hand or our eye causes us to sin that we should cut it off, but,
00:00:52 you know, we can't cut off money. It's an essential part of our life. And we, you know, we can't just do that. And that that's always been a challenge. I was like, man, I wish I struggled with something that I could just cut out of my life, you know? And thank you for joining us on the inspired stewardship podcast.
00:01:07 If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent and your treasures for your true calling in the inspired stewardship podcast. We'll learn to invest in yourself, invest in others and develop your influence so that you can impact In today's interview. With Jared Williams, we talk about wealth building as a Christian.
00:01:39 We also share with you how money can get in the way of relationships and what you can do about it. And Jared and I also talk with you about the ways you can use your finances to invest in others. Well, one reason I like to bring you great interviews. Like the one you're going to hear today is because of the power in learning from others.
00:02:01 Another great way to learn from others is through reading books. But if you're like most people today, you find it hard to find the time to sit down and read. And that's why today's podcast is brought to you by audible, go to inspired stewardship.com/audible to sign up and you can get a 30 day free trial. There's over 180,000 titles to choose from.
00:02:26 And instead of reading, you can listen your way to learn from some of the greatest minds out there. That's inspired stewardship.com/audible to get your free trial and listen to great books the same way you're listening to this podcast. Jared Williams is on a mission to revolutionize Christian personal finance. And for those of you that have been listening for a while, you know,
00:02:52 that's right up my alley, Jared began a Christian financial advisory firm called biblical wealth where he and his team help families achieve financial freedom. But here's the neat part using biblical and non wall street investments so that they can have freedom to do what God has uniquely called them to do. Jared also hosts a great podcast called the biblical wealth podcast, and he started the building biblical families podcast as well,
00:03:23 two great shows that all have links to, and that you can check out in the show notes. Most importantly, of course, Jared and his wife homeschool their three children and enjoy reading great books together as a family. Welcome to the show, Jared, Thanks, Scott. I'm glad to be here. So last week we talked about wealth building, but we didn't even address one of the fundamental questions that kind of comes up when you talk to any Christian around this idea of wealth,
00:03:49 building, investing, saving, building for retirement, these sorts of things. And that's just the fundamental question. Should a Christian even pursue wealth? You know, is there something inherent about pursuing wealth? That's actually antithetical to the Christian walk. Yeah, I mentioned last week studying, you know, really going to scripture and studying the idea of stewardship, but in addition to that,
00:04:13 or really even before that, I was trying to answer this question of what does the Bible say about wealth should Christians pursue wealth? And so I spent quite a long time. This was a, you know, multi month project. So I read through all of Proverbs and, you know, just wrote down every verse that I could find that talked about,
00:04:30 you know, money, wealth, work, you know, anything financial and just began looking for patterns and looking for, you know, what it said and putting that, putting those pieces together. And, you know, the conclusion that I came to there is that, you know, money is a moral, you know, money isn't good or bad.
00:04:46 It's a tool. It's something that God created. You know, we depend upon it. It runs, you know, most of life and some way, you know, has to do with money. So it's just there. We need to figure out, you know, what else scripture says about it. And the two places that I went to are the two places,
00:05:03 I guess that most helped me answer this question of should Christians pursue wealth was first the parable of the rich ruler, which is Luke 12, 13 to 21. So, you know, we, we won't read it or give summary, but if you'll recall, this was the, this was the rich, the rich ruler who, who, you know,
00:05:20 filled up his barns. You know, he's very successful Phillips barns and thought I'll blow. You know, what should I do? I'll, I'll tear these barns down, I'll build bigger barns. And then I will, you know, the ESV says, quote, relax, eat, drink, and be married and live the good life. And you know,
00:05:37 that very night he was condemned and God took his life and, you know, distributed his wealth to, to others. So, so that was one parable. And that I was looking about building up wealth. And so clearly this in some way, condemned, you know, or, or suggest that we not build up wealth, but there's also the parable of the talents.
00:05:55 You know, Matthew 25, 14 through 30, again, we won't read that, but you know, the master entrusted his talents to three different servants, according to their abilities, you know, when away they says they traded, that's the word again, the English word and the ESD, at least they traded. So we don't know what that means,
00:06:12 you know, but they doubled their talents. And we do know because of the third ones, you know, he was told about the master. You could have at least put it in the bank and earn interest that even if the talents could mean other things, they certainly also did mean money, you know, in the context of this, of this parable.
00:06:26 And so the, you know, the two fate, the two servants who were productive, you know, were rewarded, then they were given more. And, and so it was really a challenge to think through what are these two, these two parables teach. And what I noticed again, that the two good servants were productive. They used what God had given them,
00:06:44 you know, in this case, the money to produce more wealth or more money. And so I think the parable of the talents teaches us that, you know, part of stewardship is productivity, you know, and making use of what God has entrusted to us. Whereas yeah, I think Luke 12 makes it clear that the, you know, the ultimate goal,
00:07:00 can't be just growing our money to the maximum extent possible or, or growing to the point where we can be, you know, relax, eat, drink, and be Merry. And Matthew five, the master used the word wicked and slothful, and I would consider those similar, you know, to, you know, obviously relaxing, eating, drinking,
00:07:16 being married isn't itself, a problem in, you know, at times in moderation. But if you've stopped being productive with what God has entrusted to you, I think at that point you're being wicked, wicked and slothful. And so I, I don't think we could say that, you know, growing wealth was problem. It was how he used his wealth.
00:07:36 Had he used his wealth productively, you know, in the service of others. I think that would have been absolutely fine. And, and he may have been blessed even more just like the servants who used their wealth use the masters wealth productively were blessed with more. And so, you know, there's, there's kind of a camp of advisors, you know,
00:07:53 that I, that I know, and they talk a lot about, they teach a lot about helping
00:08:13 so to speak, that's kind of what most advisors are looking for. Helping families meet their needs, wants, and wishes is not a good enough goal, you know, because you may be able to do much more than that. You may not be able to even reach, you know, meet your needs, wants and wishes even your name. And so why not just your maximum wealth potential,
00:08:31 whether that's a lot or a little, whatever it is. And I think logically, I have to agree with that. I think it makes sense. But as I look at scripture, I don't believe that Christians are called to pursue our quote maximum wealth potential. Maybe some of us are, maybe God has gifted us with producing wealth and we can use that to serve others.
00:08:49 And that would be a great thing. But I think for many of us, it's, no, that's not what we're primarily called to, to produce or to accumulate as much as we can. So I really think what we're called to as script as Christians is to, you know, pursue stewardship, being the best stewards we can be, whether that is with a lot of money or with,
00:09:08 you know, a little bit of money or an average amount of money, doesn't really matter. That's unique and dependent upon what God has called you to do and what he's gifted you to do. So I would say that there are some Christians who should pursue, you know, maximum wealth, ultimately what I decided upon in studying this and looking for a financial goal.
00:09:27 Cause I want to have an actual, you know, biblically based financial goal because pursuing your maximum stewardship, isn't very clear cut. And it's hard to know whether you should be with one pursuing maximum wealth or not. And that was simply financial freedom. I thought that was the best biblical goal for us as believers. When we reached financial freedom, we then have the freedom of time to do again,
00:09:48 whatever God has uniquely called us to do, whether that is continuing to work and making more, because we're doing fruitful, productive work, you know, in our job or our business, you know, or making more so we can give it away or that we stop, you know, working for an income where we work less for an income because we can,
00:10:03 we now have time. We can go and serve others in completely different ways that are unrelated to money. So that's where I concluded, you know, it was a biblical goal and how I could best answer the should Christians pursue wealth question. So as part of that, you know, we, you talked about the, the parable of the rich ruler,
00:10:22 you know, the building of the barns, parable in Luke 12, the, one of the questions that comes up is, you know, at least one interpretation of that parable and again, like all good parables, all of these can be interpreted at least two ways of not three or four ways, depending on usually there's multiple levels in there to read is that,
00:10:43 you know, part of the problem was for him, at least he began to put his security into his money and his Barnes and his stuff and not his security into God. Right. You know, that he was putting his stuff before God. So as Christians then if you know, one of the things we are called to do is be good stewards of the resources that God has blessed us with,
00:11:04 including our money. And sometimes that does mean investing in setting up a system where, you know, we aren't a burden on others in retirement or whatever it is, or we're blessing others with, with resources that we've been blessed to grow. How do we work to prevent money from getting in the way of that relationship with God from, from putting God first?
00:11:28 Cause I honestly, I think that's a lot of what Jesus preaches about money is about, wait a minute, you can't serve two masters. Right. You know, as, as the famous passage. Yeah. I think that can be a pretty big challenge, honestly, you know, especially money becoming an idol in our relationship with God. And you know,
00:11:49 that that's been a challenge for me. I, you know, just transparently, you know, Jesus tells us if our, if our hand or our eye causes us to sin that we should cut it off, but you know, we can't cut off money. It's an essential part of our life. And we, you know, we can't just do that.
00:12:04 And that that's always been a challenge. I was like, man, I wish I struggled with something that I could just cut out of my life. You know, it's, it's frustrating. I have to work and pursue this thing That can also have a tendency to become an idol. And that's really challenging, but I think it's good because it makes me,
00:12:19 you know, struggle and dependent on God and seek counts to figure that out. So, you know, it's been a struggle for a long time and I know that, you know, for myself, I am driven to achieve and succeed and, you know, money is at least one, you know, easy measurement of success, you know, and as you know,
00:12:35 in my profession, you know, I have the potential to have a very high end income and deals, significant wealth, but the, you know, should I do that? Yeah, that's, that's the question, you know, and, and I make money by helping others. And so money can be a measurement of how many people I've helped and,
00:12:51 you know, so shouldn't, I help as many people as I can and make as much money as I can. It's very easy for me to justify pursuing money. And so just recently I feel like I've had some, you know, growth and, and clarity around this area. I've been thinking about Proverbs 30 verse eight, which, you know, In part says,
00:13:08 give me neither poverty nor riches feed me with the food it's needful for me Now, obviously, you know, God uses people in poverty and I think occasionally calls people to poverty. I think that's where everybody does. And he used the rich and I believe he calls a few of us to be rich. Like we talked about, you know, just the Mexico,
00:13:25 even for, for his work and for his glory, but, you know, but I don't know yet whether God has called me to, you know, that level of wealth, you know, beyond being financially free. So, you know, what I've been praying a lot lately was that God would, you know, provide for my family, what we need today,
00:13:43 our daily bread and that he would provide whatever we need to do. The good works that he has in place. He has in store for us. He has planned for us based on, you know, Ephesians two, 10 associates prepared good works for us beforehand that we should walk in them. So, you know, not knowing beyond what I'm doing today,
00:13:58 not knowing, you know, down the road, what those good works are going to be. Whether it's going to require a little, A lot of money or a little money or whatever, I've been praying that God would provide for us, just what we need, you know, for, for that. And really focusing more on, you know, the work that he's given me to do rather than the,
00:14:16 you know, money generated from it. And obviously being a financial advisor, I think about money. I want to be a good steward of my money, not only with my investing, but my spending and saving and all of those things, but, but that is where I'm at and trying to combat it, becoming an idol and something that I may serve over,
00:14:36 you know, God himself. Does that make sense? No, it does. I, and, and I think, you know, For, for one thing, I appreciate you being honest and transparent and saying, this is an area you struggle because you know, there are people that will say, Oh no, that's never been a struggle for me.
00:14:51 And honestly, I don't think they're telling the truth in most cases. Cause again, that's, I think that's why Jesus talks about it so much, just because as human beings we're created in such a way that that is an easy trap for us to fall into and therefore it needs to be called out and, and paid attention to, I would agree a hundred percent in terms of,
00:15:11 you know, again, I'm wired in such a way that money and numbers tell me stories. I look at a spreadsheet and you know, it, it tells me stuff about what's going on. That's one of the things that makes me a good financial coach, but at the same time, it also means I'm wired in such a way that it's really easy for me to start using money as a scorecard and money as a determination of whether or not my life is healthy.
00:15:37 When in reality, it's the result, as opposed to, you know, I think money comes as a result of leading a healthy life, as opposed to being the thing that creates a healthy life. If that makes sense, you know, it, it's a cause and effect question, right? In other words is money the cause. Well then that's probably a problem,
00:15:57 but if money is the effect, well then it's not a problem now, how do you do that? And how do you make that happen? I'll let you know when I figure it out because I haven't figured it out yet. It's still a work in progress, but you know, that's that, to me, that's just the subtle, it's a mindset thing,
00:16:16 you know, is it, are we putting the money first? Are we letting money come as a result of, as you said, God blessing us with what we need and what we need that we don't even know we need yet now. Cause oftentimes that's the truth too. We don't know our needs before it happens. And then it happens and it's like,
00:16:35 Oh, Oh, that's why I was being set up. Now I understand, you know, I didn't know until now, but now I see it now I see what the problem was coming that I didn't even know was coming if that makes sense. So one of the things that, you know, we've taught touched on a couple of times both last week and this week is this idea of using the investments we have not just to bless ourselves,
00:16:58 not even just to bless our own family or own children, you know, that kind of thing, but turning it around and using investments to bless the lives of others. You know, you talked about financial freedom and creating time freedom to be able to do other things, but, but also from a month, you know, from a monetary perspective, being able to do other things with the money that,
00:17:17 that we are blessed with. Can you talk a little bit or unpack a little bit more, you know, at different stages in the process, what can this look like to use your investments to bless the lives of others? Yeah, that's a, that's a great question. And obviously like you mentioned, we can earn money and then give it away.
00:17:34 You know, we can earn investment dollars, give them away, but, but we're talking about our investment dollars themselves, you know, the money going into the investment, being used to bless the lives of others or to impact and improve the lives of others. And, and this is, you know, this, This is difficult to do on wall street.
00:17:52 It's not impossible. There, there are some even biblically responsible funds out there who have, you know, some portion of their funds doing this. You know, they're actually going directly to a company, to a startup or to once raising capital for a project or something. But most of the time this is done off of law street. So for example,
00:18:10 on how deeply you want to dive into some of these and I'll, I'll stay on the surface and you can take a step if you want. But you know, we've shown clients how to invest with companies who create, invest returns by helping families. Who've had a financial hardship of some kind to be able to stay in their homes. And so, you know,
00:18:26 this is both extremely helpful to the family. Obviously who's the struggling and, and it can be really profitable to the companies that are starving them and that's profitable to the investor. You know, we show clients how to partner with companies that revitalize homes and apartment buildings, apartment communities, you know, making them safe, desirable, and affordable places for families to live.
00:18:46 We've had clients who've invested with companies that make profitable loans to small businesses all throughout the us and, you know, helps enable those businesses to grow and to create jobs and provide whatever their, you know, hopefully beneficial products and services are, you know, to, to their community. Have you ever heard of life settlements? I have, but the Not have.
00:19:06 So go ahead and explain what that is. Okay. So, so that's a really interesting one as well that people are often interested in hearing about. So I can keep this fairly basic as well. So this is a life insurance settlement. So a life insurance settlement is a transaction in which the, you know, the owner of a permanent life insurance policy.
00:19:25 Typically it's a universal life insurance policy can sell the policy to an investor, you know, for cash. So, you know, for example, imagine an 85 year old man with a million dollar universal life insurance policy and say, it's got a hundred thousand dollars of cash value. And, you know, he originally bought the policy to provide for his wife,
00:19:44 but you know, he's outlived her and he needs the money for increasing health expenses, or he just wants the money or, you know, he's run out of other money, whatever the problem may be, whatever the case may be, he needs money. And so he could surrender the policy to the insurance company for, you know, the a hundred thousand dollars and get that cash.
00:19:59 But instead via a life insurance settlement, he can sell the policy to an investor. Typically the investor is not a person, it's a, it's a fund, that's a company that does this, but for, you know, 300,000 half a million dollars, whatever it may be. So the investor now owns the policy and based upon the man's, you know,
00:20:16 health and expects his life expectancy to be, you know, within five, 10 years, which would be typical at that age. And then after the man passes away, the investor receives the full death benefit of a million dollars. So, you know, the man who sold it obviously got way more cash than he could have by running the policy. The investor,
00:20:32 you know, was able to have a, you know, a fairly guaranteed retire and the unknown was when, but you know, what the retirement's going to be was pretty well guaranteed. And so, you know, that's another, you know, totally different example of, you know, impacting the lives of, so certainly this man, You know, got much more for his policy that he was able to.
00:20:51 So it's just another example of, you know, win-win or a way to impact other student investment. And I think for listeners, you know, one of the things to recognize with all of these investments is, again, number one, they're not right for all people, meaning where you are in your investing journey. Some products are right for you, some products aren't right for you at different stages.
00:21:16 You know, so again, this is where working with a professional is helpful so that you can come up with a portfolio that works for you. Because again, one of the things we talked about last week is the whole volatility and risk management. And all of that, you know, that's part of the job of a professional advisor is to help people manage the risk of theirs.
00:21:36 I'll use a wall street example of, you know, if you bought all of your investment dollars in one stock, it either can work out really, really good for you, or it really works out bad for you. You kind of almost have a one shot kind of deal versus, you know, diversification. That's why they talk about diversification, right?
00:21:56 It's the idea of spreading it out, but even in diversification, it's not all, you don't do it the same way, depending on who you are and what your profile is, and you know, where you're at in that journey and what your goals are. And so the reason why I point that out is, you know, Darryl was four different examples and I don't want anyone hearing,
00:22:14 Oh, that sounds like that's the perfect one for me. Let me go all in on that without actually consulting with it, talk to an expert first way. So just go jump right out and do it either. I'm not. And I didn't hear that from what you were saying, but that was vague enough that it would be difficult for someone to go do this on their own.
00:22:32 Totally. So I agree, but I, you know, again, I want to, for, for good reason, I want to say that out loud so that nobody hears that and thinks, you know, cause all of those things are things that I, you know, again, I know what a life insurance, you know, that that idea is behind buying out someone's policy and then getting a return later.
00:22:53 But it's not something I, you know, again, I think why you asked the question, have you ever heard of it? Because I think most investors have never even heard of it and, and it's not right for every investor either. You know, again, it can get you in bad shape. If you tied up a bunch of money that you might need before you get that payout.
00:23:12 Because like you said, the timing's the uncertain part. Eventually you're going to get it. But occasionally people live a lot longer than anyone thought they were going to. It's definitely more advanced. That's not the typical first investment. Yeah, probably not the first one you have to do. But again, if you got in a position where it is something and you've got that kind of money that you can tie up for an indefinite period of time,
00:23:34 it could, it can work very well for you. And to your point, it's an example of a way that you could actually help someone with what goal they have because
00:24:00 in this case, they didn't have a wife, they didn't have a spouse, but they wanted to be able to take their kids and do a little bit of travel. But before they basically were, you know, it was, it was a three to six months kind of thing. And they ended up living about eight months, you know, but they wanted to do some things and they,
00:24:19 nobody had the money to do it. So it was, it truly did bless the family. And in this case actually even left some cash too, because rather than getting the million dollars payout, that's what the family chose to do because they valued that experience. In that time, you know, the kids were in a successful position, we're getting a million dollar life insurance inheritance was not what they were after.
00:24:38 They wanted to spend some time with their dad, you know, that was more valuable to all of them. So it can truly, you know, bless someone because that's their goals as well. So, so beyond investing in others through the investments and the wealth that we put into those investments, what else should you say that Christians can focus on to invest in develop those around them?
00:25:03 I think there's lots of ways, almost countless ways that we could do that. You know, you and I both take time to record podcast episodes to give, you know, helpful and encouraging information to people, you know, being part of a church or a small group and, you know, developing, you know, relationships, being intentional in developing relationships.
00:25:19 There can be a way of sharing the gospel or helping disciple others. My church, actually, they have a, they have a giving fund for giving beyond our time. They call it, they call it gift to go. And so it's, you know, very missional focused, fun, and they focus on supporting five different areas that I've thought were really interesting to just see how they made these distinctions,
00:25:40 but they focus on, you know, reaching the unreached, planting churches, sending disciples, training leaders, and serving the vulnerable. And of course that's related to giving, but you know, we can, we could work in any of those things without, you know, giving as well without having to, you know, give our dollars. But I thought those are,
00:25:57 there are certainly more ways we can help serve others. But I really liked thinking about those as five core focuses with our money or with our time, whatever we have to give to that. Well, and again, I think, you know, you said this a couple of times with financial freedom where you pointed out that part of what you gain is time freedom,
00:26:16 you know, as you work your way up and you have more income and less debt, more investments, more cashflow dollars in various ways. It also frees up your time. So, you know, not only does it allow you to give more in terms of money, sometimes it allows you to give more in terms of time to, you know, you can start again.
00:26:35 I served on the board of patient pencils for the Methodist church. I wouldn't be able to invest the time to do that if I, you know, did have other things that have allowed me to be blessed with more time in my life because you know, I've set things up financially where that's possible. So it is a feedback loop too. So can you say those five again,
00:26:59 re reaching the unreached? What, what else? Yeah. Reach the unreached plant churches, stand the disciples, train leaders and serve the vulnerable. And so for, for every one of those two people would, some people are going to gravitate to one of those over the other, in terms of a, a passion or a comfort level or a feeling like that's where they're called to do,
00:27:25 you know, again, it's, I don't think all of us are called to go on a mission trip, but there are people that are, and you can bless them if that makes sense. Yeah, definitely. You can find out more about email@example.com. You can shoot him an email if you've got questions or want other firstname.lastname@example.org or set up a call to get more information on his company and working with him,
00:27:56 I'll have a link to that over in the show notes to setting up that discovery call and as well, Jarrett's offered that ebook that we talked about available to all buy list stories, and I'll have a link to that, but it's at biblical wealth solutions.com inspired stewardship with Scott Mader, and that should be available. And again, I'll have a link in my notes to that as well.
00:28:21 So Jared, is there anything else you'd like to share with the listener, Scott? I appreciate everything you're doing through inspiring stewardship and for giving me the opportunity to talk with you and with your audience, you know, as Scott saying for anyone who wants to learn more about, you know, what I'm doing, I would encourage you to download the ebook,
00:28:37 you know, and, or check out the biblical wealth podcast.
00:29:11 Go over to inspired stewardship.com/itunes rate. All one word iTunes rate. It'll take you through how to leave a rating and review and how to make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so that you can get every episode as it comes out in your feed until next time, invest your time, your talent and your treasures develop your influence and impact
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To prevent money from becoming an idol is a challenge, and we can't cut off money. I wish I struggled with something that could be cut out of my life completely. - Jared Williams
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