The Treasure Principle
The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn is the first book I have read on the BibleÃ¢ÂÂs view of money. I was quit eager to read it to see if how I use the financial resources God has entrusted me with is aligned with Scripture. I wasnÃ¢ÂÂt disappointed. This book is encouraging and convicting, showing the immeasurable joy that comes when one gives of their money as God wants them to. I enjoyed this book thoroughly.
Katrina and I have discussed and prayed over our finances especially our giving and feel like we are dispersing them as God desires. This book affirmed our decisions, showed other areas we can improve in and the many blessings that come from giving.
What you wonÃ¢ÂÂt find in this book is a how-to on gaining wealth. Alcorn doesnÃ¢ÂÂt tell you how to play the stock market, which as we have seen is very volatile. He doesnÃ¢ÂÂt tell you how much of your check to put into savings each week or the exact percentage you are to give to God each month (He does address tithing but from the standpoint that tithing is the least amount you should be giving). The point of the book is how we are to gain treasure in heaven. This is based on ChristÃ¢ÂÂs teaching found in Matthew 6:19-21:
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
In six short chapters, 120 pages, Alcorn will change your view of giving. He begins by calling us GodÃ¢ÂÂs money managers meaning God has entrusted us with His money. All that we have in the bank is GodÃ¢ÂÂs, not just what we give to the church. And since the money is GodÃ¢ÂÂs we give Him what He asks us to give and who to give it to. That is a special responsibility God has given each of us, taking care of His money. What we do with it carries blessing or judgment. I am for the blessing.
Some points that Alcorn makes are quite convicting. He shows us that if we donÃ¢ÂÂt give to the needs of the poor then God wonÃ¢ÂÂt hear our prayers (Proverbs 21:13). In his discussion on tithing he does maybe the best job I have read or heard on the issue by stating that tithing is the floor, not the ceiling, on our giving. He makes the point that in the New Testament God doesnÃ¢ÂÂt lower the standards found it the Old Testament but raises them, including tithing. This book has changed my view of tithing (in case you are wondering Katrina and I give more than 10%).
Some of you may be put off by me stating how much me and Katrina give each month. Alcorn points out that in I Chronicles 29:6-9 King David tells us exactly how much he gave to the building of the temple. If it is wrong for us to tell what we give then David sinned by telling us how much he gave (Alcorn goes into greater detail on this in chapter six).
I could go on. This short book covers many other topics concerning giving that you will need to read to discover. All of them are founded in Scripture. If you have been wanting some teaching on Biblical giving, this is the book for you.
May 6, 2012
A small book that can have a big impact
The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn is a small book that can have a big impact in your life. This is a book that I have had for a little while, and now that IÃ¢ÂÂve read it, I wish I had picked it up sooner. I found this book to be challenging to my current giving levels, and I trust that you will too.
Randy Alcorn shares 6 principles about giving and backs them up with numerous Bible passages. He helps to put into perspective that all the Ã¢ÂÂstuffÃ¢ÂÂ that we accumulate on earth is worthless in the long run and should not be such a high priority in the lives of those who put their faith in the God of the Bible. Our priority should be reaching out to those without Christ through generous giving and serving. The author states:
Ã¢ÂÂGiving doesnÃ¢ÂÂt strip me of vested interests; rather, it shifts my vested interests from earth to heaven Ã¢ÂÂ from self to God.Ã¢ÂÂ
Then he goes on to say:
Ã¢ÂÂIÃ¢ÂÂm not saying that itÃ¢ÂÂs easy to give. IÃ¢ÂÂm saying Ã¢ÂÂ and there are thousands who will agree Ã¢ÂÂ that itÃ¢ÂÂs much easier to live on 90 percent or 50 percent or 10 percent of your income inside the will of God than it is to live on 100 percent outside it.Ã¢ÂÂ
The author has several different ways to shift the mindset of the reader in order to challenge our perspectives. After reviewing the 6 principles amid Bible references and historical quotes, the book concludes with a Ã¢ÂÂgiving covenantÃ¢ÂÂ and 31 questions to ask God about our giving.
If you are open to hear GodÃ¢ÂÂs calling for change in your attitude about giving, I recommend that you read this book. In the very least, it will make you think about your giving level, and how you can survive on less so you can give more. You can read an excerpt of the book or just order one for yourself.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
November 1, 2011
Giving isn't always financial...
I decided to read The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn, partially because of his Goodness of God book I read back in March. Of course my other reason for reading The Treasure Principle is due to the subject concerning money. I wanted to read his perspective on money, considering it is a subject which effects everyone. I liked some of what he presented, but I wasn't pleased to read a certain idea in particular...
The Treasure Principle is a short book about money, joy, and giving; he is also a Christian Hedonist. The idea of promoting generous giving sounds good right? I mean he does condemn the whole Health and Wealth Gospel. I want to like what he says, because I don't want to be focused negatively on my problems and he certainly does present some very good ideas like his six keys. However I have an issue with how he responds to someone who says "I can't afford to give more financially."
He says on page 66 and I quote: "When people tell me they can't afford to tithe, I ask them 'If your income was reduced by 10 percent would you die?' They say 'no.' And I say, ' then you've admitted that you can afford to tithe. It's just that you don't want to..." I find that to be a very unfair statement. He is not talking to a Christian like me who has many bills to pay (sometimes paying them late), lives from paycheck to paycheck, and doesn't make much money per year. He is talking to the Christian who is able to pay their bills on time always, who is mid-middle class or higher, and is doing pretty well financially where they have plenty of extra money leftover for savings and spending. In the latter group I understand those people should be giving because as he said we take some of what we have for granted, however for my group it's unfair because it forces a person into a legalistic standard and scriptural conflict; after all we are not to be thieves and pay for our bills.
The Bible says "The Lord loves a cheerful giver" and the idea of trying to guilt trip someone into tithing is not good. Not to mention, Jesus Christ does not commend the old widow for what percentage she gave, but the fact she had the warmth to give as generously as she did in the first place, meaning she was giving more of her HEART. A person can give generously without it having anything to do with money. For an example I can give my time in serving the local church as well as giving a homeless person supplies to help them physically and spiritually (you know like some food, blankets, jacket, clean clothes, and a Bible, etc.) Again I liked some of what he had to say and we can't be afraid to give to people, but how we should be giving shouldn't be focused simply on the $$$. This subject of money, giving, and joy also should have been talked about for much longer than 95 pages.
Disclaimer: Ben Umnus was given a free copy of this book by Waterbrook Multnomah Press, but he was neither paid for his review nor was he commanded by Waterbrook Multnomah Press to write a positive review. This review is the personal, written opinion of Ben Umnus. This disclaimer is in accordance with the Federal Trade CommissionÃ¢ÂÂs 16 CFR, Part 255http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : Ã¢ÂÂGuides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.Ã¢ÂÂ
June 29, 2011
Where Is Your Treasure?
The Treasure Principle
I have been wanting to read this book by Randy Alcorn from the first time I saw it in one of my favorite book catalogues. When it arrived, I was very surprised by the dimensions (although I know I had skimmed over that information many times)...but the old cliche is true "good things come in small packages."
Based on Matthew 6:19-21 (Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where theives break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also), Alcorn expounds on what he calls "The Treasure Principle": You can't take it with you -- but you can send it on ahead.
He does this through discussion of six Treasure Principle Keys:
God owns everything. I'm His money manager.
My heart always goes where I put God's money.
Heaven, not earth, is my home.
I should live not for the dot but for the line.
Giving is the only antidote to materialism.
God prospers me not to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving.
Alcorn also successfully uses personal illustrations, supported effectively by scripture, to explain this approach to stewardship. For me, however, it was the "31 Radical, Liberating Questions to Ask God About Your Giving," that made the most impact. Those questions did make me examine where my treasrue is and if God truly is that treasure. For example, Question 3 (supported by Luke 16:13):
"Is my life revolving around You? Open my eyes, Father. What am I holding on to that's robbing me of present joy and future reward? What am I guarding and keeping for myself that's preventing me from having to depend wholeheartedly on You? Since money and things have mass, and mass exerts gravity, and gravity holds us in orbit, what can I give away that will bring me greater freedom: Which of 'my' assets can I give You, so that You will be my center of gravity?"
So the question is now asked of you...where is your treasure?
"I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this reviewÃ¢ÂÂ.
June 19, 2011