Monday, April 7, 2014

Book Review: "How To Be Rich" by Andy Stanley

Spoiler Alert: I briefly share some of the principles of Andy Stanley's book in my review, not to spoil the book for you or lessen your curiosity, but to encourage you to read it ALL and get a fuller understanding of the subject in a way more than a review can do.  So please read my review and then go out and get this book.

Overall, I like Andy Stanley's books, and this book is no exception.  It is a short book of 160 pages (which includes small group study guide) and an easy read.  While I know he is not into the prosperity message, I was curious on how he would handle this subject being that he is in a very affluent suburb of Atlanta (Norcross, GA) and his church is by no means a poor church.  How would a successful, mega-church pastor, who is not poor in any respect handle this subject. Sadly, many affluent, mega-church pastors twist or avoid scriptures to make a case for their extravagant lifestyles.  This book would prove to be different.  For starters the subtitle of the book hits the nail on the head of what this book is really about, "it's not what you have. It's what you do with what you have" that is the essence on this book.  And "rich" has a double meaning throughout the book.  It deals with money, material things, and possessions; but it is also about what it really means to be RICH spiritually with God.  He also brings into perspective that fact that most Americans are richer than 96% of the world.  While I don't agree with Andy Stanley's remark that for 'most' Americans $37,000 a year would represent a pay cut..." (pg. 29) (I believe a lot of people fall below $37,000 a year), even so, I would have to agree that what is considered "poverty" in America would be very rich to most of the world. 

That being said, what does this book cover that I gave it a 4 star rating?  As he gets past the first few chapters and covers some very good foundational truths, he then does an excellent job breaking down many verses in 1 Timothy chapter 6 as to the principles shared in this book.  This is especially the case with 1 Timothy 6:17, 18 that states, "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share."

While I think it is a good book for everyone, I think it is an even better book for those who have been blessed with much financially.  As he states on page 34, "the richer people get, the smaller the percentage of money they give away".  He also gets into having a generous heart with the money God blesses us with, be it a small or large amount - a very good teaching on generosity.

He also does a good job helping us to see that all we have is God's, meaning 100% (not just 10%).  This Biblical teaching can really help us put all we have in proper perspective.  It's all God's - you are just a steward of it.  As you finish this book you will see that it isn't about "BEING RICH" like so many people think, but about being rich toward God and being a good steward with all that God blesses you with. 

Note: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the words expressed here are my own.

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