Friday, February 8, 2008

Book Review #2: Your Money Counts

If you are looking for a good book on handling your finances from a Biblical perspective that has a wholistic approach to how we view our wealth, work, family, and faith, then this book is a must read.

It is not heavy handed. It gives good basic information that doesn't require an MBA to understand. It provideds some basic tools to discern standard of living, budgeting, investing, and handleing debt.

Often we shy away from books like this because of the shame or fear we have that we won't measure up to the standards. Dayton uses both personal and observed stories to show not many of us do, but that there is hope. You need to approach this book, or any like it, with the intent to learn and grow. The goal is not perfection, but freedom and transformation ( financially and spiritually).

If there is one chapter that I would encourage all to read, it would be the one on Giving-What is your attitude? Dayton starts this chapter not out of Malachai or another "typcial" giving passage, but out of 1 Cor. 13:3; that if we don't give out of a sense of love (for God and neighbor), then we profit nothing. Dayton also emphasizes that we are to give unselfishly because Christ gave of himself.

Dayton does share that giving 10% is a good standard, but that a fixed standard can also become like any other bill to be paid. Dayton stresses the joy of giving, and giving according to one's ability. While Dayton believes a tenth should be the standard, he also says it should not be the limit, and that if one is able to give more than a tenth, they should prayerfully do so.

This chapter is typical of Dayton's book because he gives scriptural support, coupled with personal examples, and stresses the importance of prayer and being purposeful in the discipline.

Is is good for small groups? Not so much, unless your small group likes to do home work, and the leader is good at extracting questions. I would use this more for personal reflection. Its an excellent resource for anyone considering teaching on stewardship.

Next Week's Review: Transforming Discipleship by Greg Ogden