Walk into a major bookstore and you’ll find hundreds of books on a wide variety of topics about money and personal finance. Many of those books focus on the self – help approach to personal finance. Fix financial problems, such as getting out of debt, invest wisely and retire young, happy and rich and pinch pennies until it hurts. Don’t get me wrong. There is some pretty good advice out there on these topics and more. But for a Christian focused on managing God’s resources, our reading and learning should go much deeper.
A Christian financial bookshelf includes topics about stewardship, generosity and managing money wisely, so God can work through us and with our resources versus spending them on a life of materialism and short-term gratification. Certainly there is a balance, but money is a resource to be used for God’s purposes and not ours. This is the only way to true financial freedom. Interested in learning more? Look for these titles the next time you visit your church or Christian bookstore:
Your Money Counts by Howard Dayton – If you want to learn about how to manage money God’s way, this is a great book to get started. Howard Dayton, co-founder of Crown Financial Ministries, and now president of Compass – Finances God’s Way, provides THE guide to financial stewardship, in my opinion. Dayton covers what the Bible teaches about the true owner of money, stewardship and biblical principles of debt, savings, giving, work and more. It’s an easy read that has plenty of practical tips including budgeting, creating a plan to get out of debt, savings and more.
The Root of Riches by Chuck Bentley – It’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to have more money and get rich. After all, society sells that becoming rich and acquiring more leads to happiness. Chuck Bentley, president of Crown Financial Ministries, shares how to avoid the world’s view of money and align with God’s purposes for it. Chuck uses a unique approach showing how our roots, or beliefs, result in our fruits or behaviors when it comes to financial matters. This book will help you take a look at your own heart and shares how the root of riches are only truly found in Christ.
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey – This is probably the most well-known book about money and personal finance. Dave Ramsey walks you through his Total Money Makeover Challenge and how to follow his 7 Baby Steps to financial peace. Ramsey has helped many people become debt free through this method and daily radio program. The book is full of practical tips to save money, pay off debt and invest wisely for the future. It’s a quick read and includes encouraging and motivating testimonies throughout. If you want to discover the practical side of stewardship you won’t be able to put it down. Ramsey has openly shared that he is a Christian and his advice is built upon many of the principles you’ll find in the Bible.
Money Purpose Joy by Matt Bell – Christian author, Matt Bell helps you live for the true meaning and purpose God has planned for your life. It’s certainly easy to wonder away with the temptation our society places on us to want more and pursue our selfish endeavors. Bell starts the book with a story about how his early life paralleled with that of the prodigal son in the Bible. He learned a valuable lesson about squandering away God’s resources and later realized His purpose in life to serve and help people connect with God through the wise management of His resources. You’ll find plenty of practical tips and biblical principles to help you with your own financial journey in this book.
Debt Free Living by Larry Burkett – Larry Burkett, co-founder of Crown Financial Ministries, provides Biblical truths for getting out of debt. He walks through examples of how people get into debt as well as climb out of it using a narrative format. You’ll also understand topics such as dealing with creditors, bankruptcy and using credit. Most importantly you’ll discover God’s perspective on debt and why it’s important to become debt free so God can work through you and with the resources He’s entrusted into your care.
Of course there are many other great Christian personal finance books that deserve to be mentioned. But these are 5 authors and titles that have impacted my walk with The Lord greatly. And that’s what faithful stewardship (1 Cor 4:2) will do. It will draw you into a closer relationship with God and our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ.
Now it’s your turn. What titles have changed your heart, the way you manage money and brought you closer to God?
Jason Price is a husband, dad, blogger, and budget coach passionate about personal finance, stewardship and a good cup of coffee. Jason encourages people to enjoy their lives without compromising smart financial decisions. Enjoy life, budget smart!