Did you know that Jesus prayed about you being in the financial services industry? Here’s what Jesus prayed:

“I do not ask that you take them out of the world (industry) … but to keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”

John 17:15-17

You have probably heard this phrase before: “In this world, but not of this world …” As a financial advisor, I would state what Jesus meant this way: “In this industry, but not of this industry.” That’s powerful! It means He wants us in this industry for a specific purpose!

I entered the financial services in 1991, but did not realize it was by divine purpose that I was there. It is vital to understand that where we are is by His divine purpose!

Jesus asked the Father “… to keep them from the evil.” What is the evil? Have you ever considered that it might simply be conformity – being like everyone else in the industry. Maybe that’s why we are instructed not to be conformed, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds!

The prayer then is, “Don’t take them out of the industry because I have a divine purpose for them in the industry.” The problem is that it’s too easy to fit in the industry, to think we have to be like every other advisor.

Jesus’ prayer was “Sanctify them by the truth” – the immediate thought when we hear “sanctify” is holiness or purity but the meaning of the word here is to “set apart” or “to consecrate.”

The idea at the root of the word rendered “sanctify,” is not holiness, but separation. It is opposed not to what is impure, but to what is common, and is constantly used in the Old Testament for the consecration of persons and things to the service of God.”

Elliotts Commentary for English Readers

Sanctify or, consecrate: The word expresses God’s destination of them for their work and His endowment of them with the powers necessary for their work. The word is used of God’s consecration of Jeremiah, Moses, and the chosen people.

Cambridge Bible for Schools & Colleges

How are we set apart? How are we different? It’s “by the truth” … the biblical financial wisdom is what makes us different. It is what distinguishes us from others in the industry; it sets us apart.

Jesus would be unique if he were in this industry. Here’s an example from Mark 10:17-22 – the rich young ruler comes along asking about life issues – significant life issues, as in eternal life! We could say he would be the ideal prospect – young, with many possessions and asking important questions. The response of Jesus was unique – He did not focus on managing his wealth, but said, “One thing you lack: go sell all you possess, and give to the poor” and directed him toward generosity, in essence, “treasure in heaven.” Here is what makes you unique in this industry: Focus not on what clients have, but on the one thing they lack.

Advisors “in this industry,” are naturally interested in what people have, their wealth. Advisors who are “in the industry, but not of the industry,” are unique and will direct the client to see the one thing they lack, or are missing. What this rich young prospect was missing was generosity and it seems he did not become a client (or disciple) of Jesus. Scripture says his face fell or “he became gloomy.

Financial professionals in this industry do a great job focusing on the wealth, but as a Christian who is “in, but not of this industry,” the focus goes beyond the numbers to the heart, to the one thing lacking. Is the TRUTH (biblical wisdom) setting you apart in this industry? What client conversations are lacking?

Let me paraphrase John 17:15-17 – It’s truly the prayer of Jesus for financial professionals: Father, do not take them out of the industry, but keep them focused on their unique calling. They are not of the industry, just as I am not of the industry (but I would be unique in the industry). Set them apart, consecrate them in the truth, your word is truth.

Lord help us to focus on the one thing that our clients lack; help us to be fearless in our client conversations! Help us to redefine what success really is – to have Kingdom Impact through our interactions with clients.

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