We’ve all experienced financial stress at least once. Some of us experience it every single day, like an unwanted guest at the dinner table or a cockroach (or three) skittering when we turn a light on.
Many of us live paycheck to paycheck and find there’s more month than money when bills come due.
Others face foreclosure or repossession. Others stare at a mountain of student debt and the realization it will take years to pay it off. Some of us take out new credit cards when we max out our current ones.
When I was growing up, the attitude was we’re always going to be in debt. We’ll always have a mortgage and a car payment. Now we’ve added to this attitude with the explosion of unsecured debt via credit cards and student loans, among others.
And what happens when we face a medical crisis or extensive car or home repairs?
Then we receive the revelation that we’re not living in the best God wants for us. We’re not managing our finances well.
There is a better way. A way that leads to the full life has for us. A life of blessing and of being a blessing to others. Getting into that better way takes work. It takes a change in how we view the world, how we view and handle money, and how we view God.
This new and better way is described in Pastor Robert Morris’s newest book: Beyond Blessed: God’s Perfect Plan to Overcome All Financial Stress. This is not a super-spiritual, pie-in-the-sky view of the Gospel. It’s not a Give To Get prosperity gospel either. Pastor Morris provides practical and spiritual motivation to be better managers of our money and taking our finances to the next level—the level God wants us at.
The book is a follow-up to Pastor Morris’s first book, The Blessed Life.
The spiritual foundation is God owns everything and he gives it to us to steward. Another word for steward is manage. He writes, “Putting God first and recognizing it all belongs to Him liberates us from fear of loss and insufficiency.”
The book goes beyond the “you really should, you know,” attitude. It demonstrates how we can change our hearts from having to manage our money to wanting to manage our money because of the spiritual and financial freedom it gives.
He quotes Dave Ramsey: “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.”
Pastor Morris provides practical tools for budgeting our resources and for getting out of debt. The goal is to live on less than we make by examining all facets of our lives and making decisions and adjustments. His recommendations are based on Biblical principles and sound financial advice. He doesn’t advocate giving it all to God and everything will be fine. He does stress tithing (giving the first 10%) to God as the key component of living beyond blessed.
At its simplest, the formula is PAY God first (tithe), then PAY myself (save), then PAY everyone else (spend). There are strategies to make this happen.
Another way to phrase it is: good stewards
- Spend wisely
- Save diligently
- Give generously
The ultimate message of this book is, “Never forget God, not money, is my sole source for security and significance.” The core truth that comes across is, “…when we set our finances in order, God supernaturally blesses us.”
I highly recommend this book to everyone who wants to manage their finances better and to learn the spiritual principles behind being good stewards.