As I've been reading several books on stewardship, finances, generosity, I kept seeing one book mentioned more than any other as the must-read book in this area. That book is "The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving" by Randy Alcorn.
The back story of the author is quite powerful. After years of writing and teaching that "God owns everything" Randy Alcorn was sued by an abortion clinic (over a peaceful nonviolent protest). There was a multi-million dollar settlement that would garnish all wages beyond minimum wage. He had to resign as pastor and gave away all book royalties to missions and ministries. He and his family have been living out the message of The Treasure Principle - that "God really does own everything, takes care of us, and graciously puts assets into our hands that we might have the joy and privilege of investing in what will last for eternity."
This is a compact book that is easy to read. (Those wanting more depth can follow up with Alcorn's "Money, Possessions, and Eternity.") There are six chapters, and Randy skillfully describes the difference between investing for earthly gain versus investing for eternity, joyful giving, eternal rewards, roadblocks to giving, and getting started. Another welcome addition in the end is a 31 day prayer guide.
Alcorn states the Treasure Principle in a nutshell: "You can't take it with you - but you can send it on ahead." Then he shares six Treasure Principle Keys...
1. God owns everything. I'm His money manager.
2. My heart always goes where I put God's money.
3. Heaven, not earth, is my home.
4. I should live not for the dot but for the line. (life in heaven versus life on earth)
5. Giving is the only antidote to materialism.
6. God prospers me not to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving.
I enjoyed reading The Treasure Principle. It's highly biblical, relevant and educational, incorporating story and inspiration along the way. What's best is that the author is very passionate about this subject and is living out what he teaches. He even does a great job discussing tithing. "Tithing isn't the ceiling of giving; it's the floor. It's not the finish line of giving; it's just the starting blocks. Tithes can be the training wheels to launch us into the mind-set, skills, and habits of grace giving." There's a good reason this book is cited by so many others. Church leaders would do well to share a copy of this book with every member of their finance team, if not the whole congregation.
At the publisher's website you can view a video describing The Treasure Principle or read or download a sample chapter. It's on sale at Amazon and other retailers.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review as part of their Blogging For Books Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising".