Sunday, October 24, 2010

Your Money God's Way

I was skeptical about this book.

My parents, who were devout Christians, would lend money to anyone whom they perceived as similarly devout Christians, with the result that they were nearly defrauded out of thousands of dollars. I wasn’t sure if Amie Streater would adopt a similar approach in her financial self-help book Your Money God's Way, or if it would be more of a “sell all you have” philosophy.

But something about the book’s subtitle – “Overcoming the 7 Money Myths That Keep Christians Broke” appealed to me. I’ve always been interested in ways to save money, so I decided to give the book a try, and Thomas Nelson sent it to me as part of the Book Review Bloggers program. And it turned out to be an excellent read – straightforward, sensible, helpful and written by someone who knows what she’s talking about when it comes to both finances and Christianity.

Amie Streater identifies several “counterfeit convictions” that cause Christians to make poor financial decisions. For instance, these could be the (unfounded) beliefs that God will provide no matter what, or that it is always safe to do business with a “brother in Christ”. She then goes on to show why these convictions don’t help anyone, illustrating her points with practical examples as well as verses from the Bible. And I do mean practical.

How are you going to be generous if you’re broke?

You can be generous with your time, of course, and you can be generous of spirit, but your time and good nature are of little use to a starving child in Africa…

At the same time, Streater doesn’t preach a “prosperity gospel”, where you only have to pay a monthly “Jesus tax” to receive great bounty in return. She makes it clear that if you give, you should do so for the joy of helping others and out of gratitude for what you have received, not in the hope of a payback.

To summarize : I’d definitely recommend this book to any Christians who were having financial difficulties, but I’d also recommend it to people of other religions or none. It will make you feel as though you’re being either entertained or educated or both – not preached to.


Mary Witzl said...

Now I feel so ashamed: because I took one look at that title and snorted.

My grandfather was very much like your parents, but he was defrauded out of just about every cent he made. Whenever he'd had a crop that didn't fail, his poor relatives would get wind of it and come begging, promising they'd seen the light and would be Christians again -- as long as he gave them his crop money. And he was like Charlie Brown being played by Lucy year after year -- he always gave his money to them, and he was always disappointed. He could have used this book.

I may not read Streater's book, but I'll absolutely pass it along.

Tara Maya said...

I consider it an interesting topic -- how to be a generous, ethical person and still sensible about money. It's easy, for some reason to be both stingy and foolish, but hard to be the opposite.

Marian Perera said...

Mary : What happened to your grandfather was terrible... and that must have made life tough for his family as well. Not only because they were deprived of the money, but because they had to watch it happen again, year after year.

Streater has a chapter on enablers, and she mentions the difference between helping someone and keeping them stuck in a permanent cycle of dependence. Which isn't likely to help them grow as Christians either.

Tara : Absolutely. That's a great way to sum it up - be generous, but also be wise.

Amie said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review Your Money God's Way. Glad you enjoyed it! And thank you for your support in recommending it to others. I hope it helps a lot of Christians see God's will for their finances more clearly.
Be blessed!
Amie Streater

Marian Perera said...

You're most welcome, Amie, and thanks for commenting! I enjoyed the book's supportive but realistic approach very much.