There are two ways I can do this blog post.
1. Tell you to go and buy/borrow/check-out the book The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn and leave it at that.,
2.)Tell you about the book and how it impacted me and encourage you get it yourself to read later.
I’m going with option 2.
We were given this book from the church we were attending last spring. It was part of the “discovery” class for newcomers. There are six principles mentioned in the book. I want to mention two. I wish I could talk about them all, but for the purpose of our story, I’m going to tell you about the two that made the biggest impact.
*My heart goes where I put God’s money.
Here’s a quote from the book, “By telling us that our hearts follow our treasure, Jesus is saying, “Show me your checkbook, your VISA statement and your receipts, and I’ll show you where your heart is.” That statement has slowly started to make a change in how we set up our budget.
My bank statement proved me a liar. I said I believed that Christians should be giving to those in need. My bank statement said I didn’t care about the poor.
Randy Alcorn went on to say that when we invest our money in something, we always become more interested in it. “Do you wish you cared more for eternal things? Then reallocate some of your money, maybe most of your money, from temporal things to eternal things. Watch what happens.”
I cannot overstate how true this has been for us.
The next principle that has made a HUGE impact is this:
*God prospers me not to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving.
This principle changed my thinking more than anything else in the book. I started thinking, what if we actually lived like that? What would that look like? So, I went to Nathan and said, “What if we committed to living on a certain income and EVERYTHING above that we gave away?”
Poor Nathan! I don’t think he’s going to let me read anything that he isn’t also reading anymore. I think he was surprised at the question, but he agreed that we need to decide what is “enough”. It was the start of a long conversation that’s still happening.
We don’t know the answer. The cost of living goes up from year to year. Health insurance premiums keep skyrocketing. It’s hard to set a hard and fast amount of money that would be enough to live on 40 years from now. For us, right now, God is telling us that he wants us to live on a certain percentage of our money. It’s less than we’ve been living on. I don’t want to be too specific because I don’t want this to be about us and how much or how little we give or live on. It’s just the story that God is writing for us and this is the chapter we are in now.
I’m a bit giddy about it 🙂 What if we could increase our percentage of giving every year?