Takeaway: In spite of the fact that some Christians misuse scripture about giving, those portions of scripture are still there and we need to focus on the right meaning, not avoid them.
As I have said before, my wife and I lead a small group of newly married couples. Our next topic is finances. So when I was offered this book to review I read it with that in mind.
This book was written by my pastor. So I am not completely unbiased and I have heard much of this content before in sermons or other teaching.
But the thing that most struck me here is that in spite of the fact that Health and Wealth gospel preachers misuse scripture on giving, God still is interested in how we think about and use our money.
Andy Stanley starts with the fact that we often think about giving wrong. It is not ‘God gets this amount and everything else is ours’. It is God have given all of it to you and you are merely a steward of it all. So God wants us to invest it. That investment should be in God’s kingdom. This does not mean that we can’t use money on things we need, but that if we have the right attitude toward the money, those things that we really need are far less.
Andy starts with saying that he is not interested in the money as much as our heart. If we cannot give, that says something about our heart. And when preaching this at our church he says clearly, do not give here if you are concerned that we are teaching this to get your money. Give somewhere else where your heart will be right.
He does not concentrate on whether we should tithe or give some other amount. Instead her has four Ps. He wants us to think about making our giving first Priority, to make it a fixed Percentage of income, even when it is hard, and then Progressively increase the percentage over time. And then finally be open to God Prompting you to give for special needs.
While I know that Andy’s theology is not health and wealth oriented, I wish he has a section on the fact that the rewards we get are often spiritual and not material. He talks about placing trust in God for our needs and gives several illustrations from his own life and others about how God takes care of us. But I also think that there are many times when God just wants us to live on less. This is a part of several of the illustrations, but not really an explicit idea that is fleshed out.
This is a very short book about 130 pages in paper and less than 3 hours on audio. I listened to the audio and my only complaint about the audio is that it isn’t Andy Stanley reading himself. I very much prefer authors read their own books. But the narration is well done.
The book was provided by christianaudio.com for purposes of review.