“Wisdom for Wealth. For Life.” Episode 31: Escaping the Cycle of Materialism

Holding Money with an Open Hand 

How much is enough? At Blue Trust, we encourage clients to consider this question as they follow their unique path to financial freedom. Often, people discover that accumulating money isn’t nearly as fulfilling as using their money to help others.

On a recent Wisdom for Wealth. For Life. podcast episode, Blue Trust private wealth advisor Scott Kiesel talked with clients Steve and Linda Znachko about how their relationship with money has changed since they committed to a life of generosity and intentionality with their wealth.

Listen in as the Znachkos share how they gained the freedom to step into places of need in their city and beyond.

When Money Isn’t Enough

As a successful young business owner, Steve says that he was trapped in a loop of feeling that he never had enough income to live – much less give – sacrificially. He uses the words ‘gravity,’ ‘chained,’ and ‘bound’ when he thinks back on his early mindset about money. “Even as I saw my business growing, I had tremendous angst and worry about what was enough,” he says. “I didn’t spend a lot, but I had made saving my ‘god.’ In business, I would set goals that I thought would get me the contentment, freedom, and margin I needed to not worry about money every day. I set that goal four different times, and it just never arrived.”

Steve describes a ‘catalytic moment’ in his fourth year of business when his income was four times the level that he had ever dreamed of. As he drove home from work one day with his mind filled with worry, sadness, and confusion over money, he had a chance encounter with a man stranded on the side of the road. The man cheerfully explained that his old ‘clunker’ just needed a jumpstart to get going again. Steve noticed that the man had been reading a Bible behind frosted windows as he waited for a good Samaritan to arrive.

The two chatted about family and hobbies as Steve worked to get the old car started with jumper cables. Steve was struck by the man’s contentment and happiness despite not having the money to fix his car or buy a new one. “I knew as he drove away that I didn’t have one thing that he wanted. Even though I was in a position to help him, I was the one who didn’t want my encounter with him to end,” Steve says.

Called to Ministry

After realizing that there would never be enough money to feel content, the Znachkos felt they needed good counsel on their financial situation. Steve and Linda began meeting with Scott, their Blue Trust advisor, to talk about how much would be adequate to save for the future. It wasn’t easy to change a mindset of acquiring and saving to one focused on joy and generosity. It took time, but the couple started feeling the contentment of giving money away and the relationships they were building with others.

They started a family foundation so that they could make money available as requests for help came to their attention. While worries about having enough inevitably surfaced, they realized that they simply no longer wanted to climb the lifestyle ladder.

Today, Linda leads a ministry called He Knows Your Name, an organization dedicated to serving abandoned infants in the Indianapolis area. She is a popular speaker and has been interviewed by numerous television and magazine outlets. Linda partners with Safe Haven Baby Boxes and has spent the last eight years raising awareness and educating others about the Safe Haven Law for infants.

As a pastor for a ministry in Ukraine, Steve has been at the front lines of the country’s current war. He has also preached in 17 countries and visited Syrian refugee camps.

The Znachkos conclude that decisions of faith don’t use the same math as worldly decisions. “If you’re waiting for a spreadsheet to give you permission to do something, it’s never coming,” they emphasize. While they say that there can be pain and struggle in making these sacrificial decisions, the Znachkos have no regrets. In fact, they would like to do even more with their money:

It’s not about seeing the dollar signs of what we’ve been able to give, it’s seeing the multiplication of relationships and the light of the Kingdom spread.”

– Steve Znachko

In our “Wisdom for Wealth. For Life.” podcast series, we share financial advice and wisdom from our network of wealth advisors, thought leaders in the industry, and our community of over 10,000 financially blessed families who apply biblical wisdom to their financial planning and giving.

The podcast is available across most major podcast networks. If you enjoy this episode, please consider rating the podcast and sharing it with friends and family wherever you listen to podcasts:

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