This is not a book about economics, and there are no tips inside on how to get rich. Instead, Andy Stanley is focused on how we modern Americans need to live once we recognize that we already are fabulously wealthy compared to the rest of the modern and historical world. Few if any would deny this if pressed, yet everybody has pretty much the same definition of what it means to be rich: about twice what one earns currently. It’s always relative. As Stanley writes, “Rich is a moving target.”
Stanley points out two major weaknesses that our money makes us susceptible to: arrogance, and to become our source of hope. To combat them, he argues for a lifestyle of generosity that is both intentional (planned) and sacrificial (more than just the extra cash left over once we’ve met our consumeristic “needs”).
“To keep from becoming arrogant…to keep your hope from migrating… and to sidestep the assumption that everything is for your consumption, you are to pursue a life of generosity. It’s not just a good thing to do. It’s not some tip for how to be a good person. It’s a preventative for the side effects of wealth.” (71)
Most of Stanley’s points are teased out of 1 Timothy 6:18, but the book is pretty light on overt theological reasoning. That’s not a criticism. There’s nothing controversial here; Stanley’s goal is to get us to recognize our incredible wealth and the dangers and opportunities that accompany it, and then to motivate us in practical ways to be generous. Ultimately, he writes, “the best ministry we can offer on God’s behalf isn’t to explain our theology. It’s to extend our generosity.” I recommend this very brief exhortation toward a generous life.
A digital copy of this book was provided by the publisher through Netgalley for purposes of review.