In our continued attempt to be wise stewards of our resources, my husband and I have been reading books on finances. Our most recent read was Randy Alcorn’s Managing God’s Money: A Biblical Guide.
Managing God’s Money contains six sections: (1) Money and Possessions: Bible 101, (2) Perspectives That Impede Faithful Money Management, (3) Our Stewardship in Eternity’s Light, (4) Giving and Sharing God’s Money and Possessions, (5) Wisely Handling God’s Money and Possessions, and (6) Passing the Baton of Wise Stewardship. Alcorn addresses numerous topics within each section, a number of which are hot button issues in the church today (e.g., tithing vs. grace giving, materialism, debt, gambling, investing, saving, retirement planning).
The breadth of topics addressed in Managing God’s Money makes it a great primer on stewardship. If you really consider the concepts Alcorn presents and evaluate the attitudes of your heart, this book can help you form a solid, Biblical foundation for your financial planning. While he addresses a lot of practical issues (such as tithing and getting out of debt), he doesn’t provide a step-by-step guide to financial management (such as how to make a budget). This book is more about one’s paradigm on money than the “how tos” of various tasks.
The best thing about the book is Alcorn’s focus on Scripture. He doesn’t make suggestions based on his personal experience or knowledge of economics. He provides Scripture references for all of the principles he promotes. This allows you to turn to the Bible and read for yourself so you can compare his stance to what is written in the Bible.
Managing God’s Money is very easy to read. It is written in a question and answer approach, which allows you to read it in several sessions without getting lost. His language is straightforward; you’re not left wondering what he’s trying to communicate. I was particularly appreciative of the fact that he addressed a number of sensitive issues in a direct, decisive manner without browbeating his readers.
I believe almost any Christian can benefit from this book. It would be especially beneficial for individuals who have questions about personal finance (e.g., the contemporary relevance of tithing, the impacts of leaving an inheritance to your children, if it’s okay to gamble) and young people who are learning to budget and are developing paradigms on stewardship. Who wouldn’t benefit from this book? Christians who aren’t open to being convicted and stretched. I believe nearly everyone will find something in this book that will challenge him or her. If you’re not willing to critically examine your perspectives in light of Scripture, then you’ll likely not benefit from the book.
If you read it with a humble attitude, this tiny book can have a huge impact on your perspective of how to manage God’s money. It’s a very affordable book and it’s relatively short, so if you’re even remotely interested in learning more about financial stewardship, this is a great book for you.
What is your favorite book on money or financial stewardship? What did you learn from it?