Why SMI? Joshua Sheats wanted to put his money where his priorities were

Kathryn Nielson  ·  Jun 27, 2018

Joshua Sheats put his money where his priorities were when he joined Samaritan Ministries.

“If you want to understand somebody’s morality, what they actually believe, not what they say they believe, all you need is a copy of their calendar and a copy of their spending record or bank statement,” says Joshua, host of the podcast Radical Personal Finance.

Joshua is all about causing change, and one of the easiest ways to do that is with our money. His intentionality with money seeps into every part of his life, and joining Samaritan Ministries was no different. He emphasizes the power of spending money wisely to promote what he values most.

Admittedly, health care is one of the most hotly debated topics out there. Joshua cautions that implementing change in the world is not by complaining or just going with the flow.

That applies to health care, too, he believes.

“It’s a complete waste of time to argue about health insurance if you’re not willing to try something else,” Joshua says. “You can’t fight against health insurance and somebody’s immoral decisions related to health insurance if you don’t have something to replace it with.”


“It’s a complete waste of time to argue about health insurance if you’re not willing to try something else.”


You also don’t “just hand over your card and not get involved in the process. You roll up your sleeves, raise a stink, and ask how much things cost.”

Not only do we have the power to change the health care industry by being part of a health care sharing ministry, but we also can keep costs down by getting involved in the negotiation process as well.

“I really think that the method of people having an incentive to negotiate diligently their health expense costs is really only one of the fundamentally powerful tools we have to lower health expense costs,” Joshua says.

For Joshua and his family, Samaritan is a way to protect their values.

“It frees me from a little bit of the moral anguish of knowing that my money that I pay in health insurance premiums is being spent on things that I find morally offensive,” he says. “That should cause each and every one of us to stay awake at night when we’re funding something that is morally offensive.”

He appreciates Samaritan’s transparency in what they believe and their willingness to stick to those beliefs, whatever the cost.

“One of the things I appreciate about Samaritan Ministries is [it is] very clear and very upfront about ‘Here are the principles of our association. If you like and affirm these principles, we’ll invite you to be a part of them. If you don’t, we invite you to look elsewhere.’ And I want to support that in any way I can.”

Finally, Joshua is convinced that everyone involved with Samaritan wins.

“It’s good for everyone involved,” he says. “The physician wins and my fellow members win because of the good works the organization does. I’m deeply appreciative and proud to be a member of a health care sharing organization like Samaritan Ministries.”

His personal experience with Samaritan has proved valuable beyond just the financial positives, specifically with the birth of his last child.

“I appreciated the approach that Samaritan Ministries has toward childbirth, and it was so nice to call up and talk with a representative about the pregnancy and start the Need process and have the representative gush with congratulations and be excited with us,” he says.

The freedom to choose their own health care provider only added to the experience.

“We also appreciated some of the special benefits we got from the birth path that we chose to pursue, which was really nice, using providers that we chose,” Joshua says.

He notes that in a culture that “basically despises and shuns children as the worst thing that can happen in a person’s life, it was such a blessing to get all of these notes with nice Scripture verses, people honestly congratulating and being excited for us.” 

Read about Joshua's 7 stages of financial independence