3 out of 4 stars
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A parable was told of a certain wretched individual and a rich man. The rich person enjoyed his riches on earth, while the poor fellow had his wounds licked by the wealthy man’s dogs. In the end, the poor man died, and angels took him to heaven. The rich man also died and found himself in hell. While in hell, he is reminded of the good life he enjoyed, while poor Lazarus was having it rough. In many church sermons, this parable is mostly used, as a reference whenever the topic of riches is preached. One would ask, is getting rich evil? Is it ungodly to be wealthy? Judith Allwood, an avid Bible scholar, in her self-published 42 chapter book, My God, My money, finding balance between your money and your faith, explores this topic with an aim of helping Christians, consider and apply the biblical teachings on money in their lives.
The introduction depicts the author’s belief that most affluent people have obtained their wealth through exploitation of the poor. Having been raised up in a Christian community, whose teachings emphasized the importance of modest lifestyle, and how impossible it is for the rich to inherit the Kingdom of God, she had resolved only to work hard to get the hard cash needed to pay her bills. Any income earned besides her normal work would supplement the settlement of bills, besides adding up to her savings for a rainy day. On several occasions, she would find herself embarrassed at clutching any book whose title had the word rich. The major challenge faced was that despite many attempts to save, several issues would arise depleting her savings. At this point, she started wondering why was it that Christians believed in God who owns the world, were poor, and always broke. This became the turning point as she searched for a more profound understanding of the biblical teachings about money.
The author begins by acknowledging God as the source of all wealth. She dispels various misconceptions on bible doctrine towards responsible wealth creation behind the cynical attitude among many Christians. The author further cautions the rich against attributing their wealth only to their efforts. On the apparent change of character in those that have accumulated wealth, she records, “money does not create a new character on people, I believe it brings out what is at the core of who you are”. But then, Christians have been castigated on slackness, complacency, self-debasement instead of true humility, among other beliefs and attitudes that would be blamed for their vulnerable financial position. Correct views towards giving, paying of tithes, creating growth fund, and succession planning have been given at length. Apart from giving biblical references, she has used examples of people who have been successful in real-estate investment, entrepreneurship, forums attended that challenge the incorrect belief systems among them, just to name a few. This being a devotional guide, the author has among other things emphasized the importance of prayer, contentment, and living a life without worries to a Christian.
As earlier mentioned, My God, My Money is a Christian devotional study book. The reader is advised to read this book while meditating on the bible. At the end of each chapter, some questions assist the reader in making a personal reflection and apply the points learned in his life. In addition, a brief prayer is provided to aid the reader have a prayerful meditation. Most devotional study guides that I have read, have these features, which are helpful. The language used is simple and easy to understand. The content in the chapters had a logical flow making the book easier to read. Although the author has recommended forty days, I found myself reading it within weeks. While going through her account of the story of Cain and Abel, I made a startling discovery despite having studied it several times before.
Although the book seems to have been professionally edited, I found a few grammatical mistakes. For instance, the noun he when one is referring to a deity, should be capitalized. When reading through the examples provided, I was tempted to think the author was using fictional characters rather than real people. Most examples would describe a certain workshop or person without giving the names. Devotional study guides that are authoritative use real persons or situations that anyone can confirm their accuracy. Having taken note of the above points of concern, I give the book 3 out of 4 stars. This book is a must-read for all those Christians who would like to gain knowledge of Biblical principles wealth and money. As for those looking for professional financial guidance, there is a disclaimer since the author is not an expert in that field.
My God, My Money
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