08 September, 2010

Your Money God's Way, by Amie Streater

Your Money God’s Way: Overcoming the 7 Money Myths that Keep Christians Broke, written by Amie Streater, was a book that I requested to review because it sounded interesting and as a couple about to celebrate our 2nd anniversary and dreaming of someday owning our own home, well, money is something we think and talk about a lot!

I believe this book is am important read and its words ought to be considered prayerfully by every Christian individual or couple desiring to honor God through their stewardship of the resources (money, time, etc.) He has given to them. The author will leave you challenged and even perhaps slightly bruised as she is unafraid to delve into heart issues and wrong theology while giving you hope that through wisdom you can obtain a lifestyle that is debt-free (note: I did not say wealthy) and that will glorify God as we are released to live life as He intended– a life marked by contentment, generosity, and peace regardless of income or status (she makes a clear distinction about what she is talking about, contrasting it against what is commonly known as the “Prosperity Gospel”). How often have we said or heard… “God will provide” or “If we are faithful, God will bless?” Often the worst thing about lies or counterfeit theology is that they begin with a beautiful promise or truth from God, but are then turned into something we use to justify wrong actions or discontent lifestyles. Sadly, we believers are too often guilty of using God’s word or God’s work or “good boy labels” to hide our sinfulness and pride. She states that whether we make $300 a month, or $3000 a month, we can still experience freedom in our financial lives if we are willing to do things according to what the Bible teaches. May not always be fun! It may mean lots of hard working hours, simple meals, never eating out or having a getaway, choosing to live below your means in regards to a vehicle or housing or appearance, or even giving up certain privileges for a bit (she uses a situation of a stay-at-home mom as an example), but the result is well worth the short-term pain (and yes, I say that as one who is currently looking forward to and praying for the result)!

I have been blessed and challenged by a family that I had the pleasure of knowing while I was in Chicago. They had three small children (like all under the age of 4), she stayed at home in their tiny apartment with them, he was a student in the midst of graduate work at Seminary, they only made enough to cover basic necessities and did not receive any assistance – yet they were joyful, content, and debt-free; paying their way through school and looking for ways to bless others around them. Sure, it meant he worked a ton of hours (resulting in him only being able to be a part-time student at times) and they weren’t able to be involved in school choirs or school social events (though they did serve faithfully and quietly at church), she took on a couple piano students to help cover expenses, they owned one economical car (and gave away their vehicle when the purchase of a larger one became necessary-they were incredibly generous!), and visits to faraway family and friends were rare – but they viewed it as God’s calling for them in that particular time of their life, and were testimonies to His faithfulness that when He calls, He WILL provide. They were very humble and loving and their faith in God was evident to those who befriended them. Imagine if every Christian family- and particularly those of us in full-time service or training- were like that! I think the impact for Christ would be huge!

Here is an excerpt from the preface that I believe is smack on:
“…in order for God to bless you and change your circumstances, you have to be willing to change yourself, or more specifically, your heart, your head, and your convictions. Because if your money is messed up, the problem really isn’t your money; it’s you. That may sound harsh, but it’s the truth. Here’s why: in Matthew 6:25-31, Jesus promised that our Heavenly Father will meet all of our needs. Sure, hard times will come, and bad things will occasionally happen to good people, but if you are in a systematic pattern of not having enough, it is not because God is not providing for you, it is because you are not managing what He has already given to you.”

I recommend this book because it will guide us as believers to align our thoughts towards finances and how we out to handle them with what Scriptures teach. God’s Word certainly isn’t vague on the subject! I would also recommend Faith-Based Family Finances as a follow-up, which will lead you into the “how” of managing finances wisely and for the glory of God as well as answer many questions. I am so grateful for the resources God has available to help us grow in this area; I personally learn so much from them!

*This book was gratefully received from Thomas Nelson at no cost in exchange for my agreement to post this review.

I review for BookSneeze

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