Saturday, October 9, 2010
Book Review: Your Money, God's Way
Why did I choose to review this book?
This book attracted me because dealing with money is something rarely broached in churches, unless they are asking for donations! Although we are not crippled by large debt, I am always on the look out for ways to refine our budget and use the blessings God has given us to His glory. I also want to be able to equip our children well for managing their own finances before they leave home so they can avoid some of the traps and challenges that we had to work so hard to get out of in our early married life. Budget management is a core life skill.
What do I like about this book?
I thought this book was one of the best I have ever read on this subject. I loved the way it tackled false assumptions (convictions) directly using the Word of God. I thought the advice given was practical, direct and balanced. I liked the way each chapter had a summary at the end and a list of practical ways to implement the advice given. The fact that most of the chapters contained several scripture quotes and I had my Bible open on my lap most of the time I was reading tells me that it is directing the reader to the Bible continually, a laudable achievement for a book on finance!
At no point did I feel that lifestyles were being judged, the author simply presented truths such as "if you have one income, you need to live a lifestyle that is within the means that the income provides". This may seem obvious, and to a point it is, but it is something that many families need to hear. The core message of this book is about embracing freedom and contentment found in Jesus by being wise with our finances. Perhaps my favourite quote from this book was: "Jesus didn't die on the cross so you could lie awake at night, wondering how you're going to make the mortgage payment".
In the Preface and Introduction the author continually warns the reader that she is going to "tell it like it is" which did make me feel a little like I was on an episode of Dr. Phil - but hey, I don't mind Dr. Phil! The actual body of the book was not combative or extreme in word or in concept. While it sought to challenge the reader, it uplifted as it edified rather than condemned. While it had a strong American feel to it (being a book written by an American for an American audience) I did not feel alienated as an Australian reader.
While not every chapter directly related to my personal situation, I could easily think of a friend, acquaintance or family member to fit and I must confess, I recognised my own poor financial habits more than once! The final chapter gave broad but practical budgeting advice. As I finished this book I felt encouraged in my personal walk. I was compelled to go over our finances with Papa Bear and check it all out again and, while no major changes were made, I was left feeling so much better about what we have achieved and where we are going and overwhelmingly blessed to have all that we do have. I also felt compelled to make sure I kept to our aims and used every cent to glorify God.
What don't I like about this book?
There is nothing in this book that I particularly DON'T like.
I would have liked a reading list at the end of recommended stewardship and budgeting books and an Australian edition with the numbers in the final budgeting chapter tweaked to suit would have been good (electricity, food and fuel are MUCH more expensive here). Overall, however, it is a fantastic book and a valuable addition to our library. I think this one will be on the Bear Cub's high school reading list alongside The Richest Man In Babylon.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”