Just as businesses have target markets, financial thieves also target specific groups, which emphasizes the need for heightened awareness in safeguarding against evolving threats.
In today’s episode of Retire in Texas, Darryl Lyons dives deep into the existence of evil and its impact on financial strategies, addressing theft, the killing of joy through anxiety, and the attempt to destroy the religious fabric in today’s financial ecosystem.
Some of today’s show highlights include:
*Why certain groups, such as the boomer generation and Christians, are specifically targeted by financial thieves.
*An explanation of Darryl’s belief in the existence of evil, drawing from both theological and experiential perspectives, and a connection to the idea that acknowledging evil implies a belief in good and, consequently, a creator.
*A breakdown of various forms of theft, from traditional scams to more sophisticated ones, further emphasizing the need for increased awareness due to the rising use of artificial intelligence in financial scams.
*Why it is crucial to reevaluate your giving strategies, given the connection between generosity and happiness, both biblically and scientifically.
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Hey, this Darryl Lyons, CEO and Co-Founder of PAX Financial Group. Thanks for tuning into Retire in Texas. This information is general in nature only. It’s not intended to provide specific investment, tax, or legal advice. Visit PAXFinancialGroup.com for more information. Hey, so a little bit of a qualification in the show.
I love my audience and the feedback I’m getting, but some of you guys aren’t into the spiritual side of the conversation as much. So, this show, I’m going to get a little deep spiritually. So if that’s not for you, you can check out. No big deal. But I just want to give you that heads up, because some of you guys just think that’s just not your thing.
And so, this particular show, I have to go one level deeper spiritually and unpack some things. So that’s my qualification for the show. And then I want to also remind you that there’s some eBooks on our website to grab the one that’s getting a lot of traction. I haven’t got an update yet, but the one that continues to get a lot of traction is the charitable giving one for 2024.
So, pull that up. Grab it. Just educate yourself on some of those strategies going into next year coming into 2024. Okay. So wanted again, like I said, talk a little bit deeper spiritually here and you know, it really requires the pre-qualification that evil exists. And some people may or may not believe that evil exists. I have a hard time substantiating some of the atrocities that happened today and have happened in the past and assign a qualification that these atrocities took place because somebody didn’t have a dad that didn’t hug them, or they didn’t have the right nutrients.
As I look at some of these things that people do, I have drawn the conclusion not only from a theological basis, but just experiential, that evil exists and some people struggle with that idea because if evil exists, then intuitively you would have to believe that good exists. And if you believe those two things, then you have to make not a big leap, but a general logical conclusion that there was a creator of good.
And that leads you to a creator. So, the idea of expressing the fact that evil exists is difficult for some people. And I watch the markets all the time, and the recent atrocities that took place in Israel and Palestine and that area on October 7th. It was interesting to watch the markets and the commentators, just kind of sprinkle in the word evil.
And whenever I saw that, I thought what they’re also expressing is that there is a creator. And so I say all that because if there’s evil, there’s also an orchestrator of this evil. And some people use the word devil, and that’s expressed in the word of God. I use the evil one. And so in this dialog, I’m going to talk a little bit about the evil one, the one that what we know in the word of God to steal, kill and destroy and I want to talk about what his strategy is to steal, kill and destroy in the framework of money.
And this is very legit. It’s very real. It’s very dangerous and something that I believe the body of Christ needs to know about, very frankly. So, I know that’s a long winded way to get to a place to talk about the evil one, But want to frame that up because evil is real and the evil one wants to steal, kill and destroy.
And so how does he do this? So, I’m going to break each of those apart, steal, kill, and destroy. So, let’s talk about theft, stealing, just from the Attorney General’s office in Texas alone. Here’s just some of the thefts that have occurred. Dee in Abilene had somebody write 10 to 15 bogus checks on her account. Cedrick from Killeen learned that someone opened credit accounts at several jewelry stores under his name.
Carlos in San Antonio learned that someone applied for credit with 40 different creditors. Mike from Houston found out that someone had opened a stock trading account in his name. Katherine received a creditor call that threatened to repossess her Toyota for nonpayment. These are just a handful. You have some as well. You have stories. You have or know people.
I’ve had some this year alone, but these crooks, these thieves, these are the less sophisticated ones. And they’re sophisticated. But you’ve heard a lot about artificial intelligence. I need you guys to be hyper aware that the theft that’s going to take place going forward is going to be at a new level. Take, for example, Joanna Gaines. Recently, her image or voice, her pictures, her face, her talking and endorsing some product.
I don’t remember the product that was blasted through social media. Compelled fans of Joanna Gaines to purchase this product, and it was not her at all. It was manufactured through artificial intelligence. Or imagine receiving a phone call from your mom or your child and they need money, and they need it fast. But that voice that you hear on the other line was manipulated, aided by artificial intelligence.
Man, brothers and sisters, this stuff is getting very real. Getting very real. That’s just general thieves in business. We have something called target markets. Many thieves have target markets. The ones I spoke about were general thieves. The target market thieves are best expressed by a quote that I heard years ago from Willie Sutton, who was a bank robber, and they asked him, why do you rob banks?
And he said, that’s where the money is. So many thieves will be targeting. So, the evil one will use these thieves to steal from you. They’ll steal from you. If you’re in that boomer generation, you’ve got a target on your back. If you’re Christian, if you’re Christian, be careful. Here’s an excerpt from a fable that, you know, a certain wolf cannot get enough to eat because of the watchfulness of the shepherds.
But one night he found a sheepskin that had been cast aside and forgotten. So the next day, he dressed in the skin and the wolf strolled into the pasture with the sheep. The wolf in sheep’s clothing. Christians, you’re going to be targeted if you haven’t been targeted already. During the Christmas holidays, I got an email from the pastor saying I need gift cards first for some congregate this Christmas who are struggling. Really very benign email one, that was reasonable. It wasn’t for my pastor. When I learned about this, I realized that this happens a lot. They go to pastors, they go through the pastor to the congregation, get gift cards. A few years ago, a very true story, the FBI arrested a Bernie stockbroker, financial advisor. He was indicted with six others for participating in a $300 million stock manipulation scheme.
Very, very good people lost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many people that I know and this person was a regular Bible study attendee. Very charitable and smooth as silk. He was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. So, what do you do? What do you do about this? The evil one absolutely wants to steal from me right now, but please know that he did not give you a spirit of timidity, but of boldness.
But we stopped there many times when we quote that scripture. The latter part has my attention and a sound mind. Use your mind. The Lord opened doors for me, and it was serendipitous. And serendipity doesn’t trump reason. My friend uses them. He’s smart. I trust him. Trust, but verify. It’s not enough to blindly give out trust. Do your research, be patient, be on alert for wolves, get ID theft insurance.
We often use ID shield here. Leverage PAX. If you have something suspicious, send it to us. Let us look at it. We’re looking at these scams in the marketplace and having dialog. So, if you have anything suspicious, send it to us. Okay. Number two, the evil one will kill your joy. Now, killjoy is an actual word.
I didn’t know that. But if you go online, it’s someone personified as someone who spoils the pleasure of others and the evil one, he’s killing our joy. If you haven’t seen it yet, the anxiety trend is very disturbing. Not just with our youth, but elderly as well, and all across the board. The evil one is killing our joy, and it’s reflected in anxiety.
Now there’s an antidote to this. God orchestrated the world in our lives by giving us an antidote. And if you think about it, Anti in the original Greek doesn’t mean against, it means in replace of. So how do we replace anxiety? What do we replace it with? And we do it through giving, through actual giving financially.
And I know it’s hard. Look, I know that we are all challenged with high health insurance costs, and you can’t go to HEB without spending over $100. I get that. But I really want to challenge you to make a material difference in your giving strategy. Test him on this and take a step back for a second and think about the scripture.
It says, “Where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” And honestly, I’ve had thousands of conversations with people over the years about this. We really need to stop making excuses. And if you don’t believe the Bible in this regard, science makes a strong case as well. Notre Dame has an entire department that covers generosity, and they talk about and think about generosity scientifically rather than just philosophically and biblically.
People who give are happier than those who don’t. It’s called the paradox of generosity. There’s a lot of data that supports this. Further studies do scan brains and they show increased activity in their reward area of the brain. When people give, our creator has given us an antidote to anxiety and that’s giving, the evil one wants you to live in an anxious environment.
He wants to kill your joy. I want you to think deeply about your giving and challenge yourself there. The third one, He wants to destroy every element of Jesus that exists in our financial system now. Our financial system in the United States is very sophisticated. It is absolutely brilliant. It’s not perfect, but it is brilliant. The tools, the systems, the technology and the people.
It blows me away. I’ve been studying this stuff since 1996. I’m not a worshiper of the market, but I honestly have a sincere appreciation of it. Now, if you think about it for a second, just the results. We would not have medicine today, cars, computers, tires or Starbucks. None of that would exist without this financial system. It’s fascinating.
But Christians have been complacent, and we’ve lost ground in the financial markets. But it’s time to take it back. And there’s a way to take you back in its incredible trend that’s taking place in the marketplace, and that’s through Biblical Responsible Investing. This is the process where you take investments, and you use a tool. And we, of course, adopt those for clients where you use the tool, and you screen out companies that are misbehaving and put companies that are good.
And somebody might say, Well, when you screen out the bad ones, do you have anything left? And there’s plenty of good companies that have fair labor practices that are acting and behaving ethically. Safe working conditions. You do screen out the bad companies. I mean, tobacco companies, you know, some of them are still targeting nine-year-olds in India.
Alcohol, I mean, having a glass of wine and beer is not a sin, but there is some predatory advertising. And we do know alcohol destroys families and is a lot of evidence that it destroys our health. More specifically, abortion philanthropy. When corporations use their profit, it’s that you’re at ownership of those companies and they’re using the profits for Planned Parenthood.
It’s appalling to many Christians. So, the idea of screening out these companies is a wonderful moral framework. But when I first was introduced to this years ago, I was skeptical because I saw the value in it, but there wasn’t a fire in my belly, and maybe that was just my head, not catching up to my heart or vice versa.
But then I heard about something else, and this was called advocacy, and this is where the battle is won or lost. Because when you own these companies, you have a right to vote. You can vote against things that you don’t believe in. Often this right called proxy voting is transferred to a mutual fund, and many people in this country transfer their rights to vote on corporate decisions to BlackRock, Vanguard and Fidelity.
Those are the big ones. But now, because of Biblical Responsible Investing, these proxy votes are being transferred to people and experts who have a biblical worldview. And so, we’re taking the marketplace back. It is beautiful, but we can’t stop ourselves from continuing to use Biblical Responsible Investing, not only getting the performance we need for retirement, not only screening out companies that misbehave, but actually assigning voting rights to people who are aligned with our biblical faith.
We actually can take background in this financial ecosystem, which I call brilliant. And we’ve got to do this because one specific bill called the Equality Act will have a material impact on our religious freedom, all religions, and it will destroy this is what the evil wants, wants to do, destroy the very fabric of our religious freedom. And it’ll be done because corporate dollars will support the Equality Act.
But we can push back through Biblical Responsible Investing, through the proxy voting that’s done there. Man, that’s a lot. So, I’m slightly beyond what my normal time frame is, and I gave you a lot to think about. But the Lord says, “Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
We’ve all been conformed to the pattern of consumerism in America. Consumption. I mean, I’m a victim too. I’ve got an iPhone; I go to Starbucks. Heck, I could even be more generous. But I want to challenge you this year to fight against the evil of consumerism and the evil one that wants to steal from you, wants to steal you, wants to kill your joy.
And he wants to destroy the very fabric of our ecosystem. And so, I want to suggest that you start pushing back and thinking deeply. But despite all my suggestions, all three of those suggestions that I gave you intertwined in this dialog all are built on the foundation of you going to prayer and remembering. Apart from Him, you can do nothing.
Hey, I know that’s a lot to digest. If you’re a spiritual person, you probably get a lot of that. If you’re not me, listen to the end. Hey, thank you. Please send me an email with your thoughts. I love getting feedback from you guys. Oftentimes, that’s what develops the content for future shows. And as always, remember, you think different when you think long term. Have a great day.
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