Sunday, October 3, 2010

Book Sneeze: Your Money, God's Way

It's BookSneeze time again.

This time around, I read Your Money, God's Way by Amie Streater. 

I must start off by saying, I loved this book! Amie Streater is an Associate Pastor of Financial Stewardship at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO.  (When I read that, my first thought was "How big is that church?"  The answer is "huge!")  In writing the book, she addressed the 7 money myths that keep Christians broke.

I was afraid when I ordered this book that is would be another financial book telling me how to get out of debt, pay off my mortgage and save for retirement.  Don't get me wrong, as a huge Dave Ramsey fan, I'm all for those.  But I've also read a lot of those and wasn't looking for another.

I was very pleasantly surprised though.  Your Money doesn't address the how's of financial stewardship so much as the why's.  Why do we do stupid stuff with our money?  More importantly, what are specific reasons that Christians do stupid stuff with their money?

The author addresses 7 Christian money myths:
  • The Fix-it Fantasy - Money has the power to fix me and my problems.
  • Saviors or Enablers? - It's my Christian duty to be at the beck and call of everyone who wants me to help them out of a jam.
  • Self-righteous Slackers - God didn't tell me to go to work.  My economic success is up to God and I don't have anything to do with it.
  • You must be here to help me - Because my intentions are good, everyone else's must be too.  People who believe this assume that business opportunities presented by someone at church don't need to be scrutinized.
  • God is an ATM - Giving is like a magic wand.  I can spend recklessly and neglect to save because giving will prompt a blessing from God that will make all my past stupidity disappear.
  • The Scarlett Syndrome - I can leverage tomorrow's blessings to make today even more fabulous, because my next windfall is just around the corner.
  • Cliff Jumpers - My every impulse to do something bold is a calling from God.
In her no-nonsense way, Amie Streater addresses each of these myths with a timeless truth straight from the Bible.  Using real-life financial examples (some very humorous) she goes in-depth for each myth and tells you how to get out of that jam if you are currently in it and if you are not, she gives great strategies for avoiding those pitfalls.

At the end of each chapter, Amie adds a specific prayer that addresses the money myth in that chapter.  It gives you the words you might need to take that problem to God.  Also at the end of each chapter, she gives a bulleted summary of the chapter to refer back to and a list of solution steps to help you apply what you've read.  Tim read the book with me and these end-of-chapter summaries, questions and prayers really made the book stand out to him. 

I highly recommend this book to everyone who ever has to deal with money (which is pretty much everyone).  It's easy to read, entertaining and full of great info.

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