As the economy continues to struggle we hear many ‘experts’ with their own ideas on why we are where we are and what we need to do to make it through these tough times. About a month ago, I received a review copy of a book written by Mike Slaughter, pastor of Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church in Tipp City, Ohio, called Upside Living in a Downside Economy. The book is written based on Biblical principles, specifically principles taken from the Book of James.
The book is very short, yet packed with a lot of great information. The book is broken into four sections:
Seeking God’s Perspective
Slaughter says that as Christians we need to ensure our motivations are such that we manage our finances to not simply to help ourselves but to also (and more importantly) help others
Rebalancing Life Investments
The author lists seven right actions that when combined with the right priority will lead to the right results
- Planned Giving to God
- Seeking Wise Counsel
- Writing a Budget
- Eliminating Credit Cards and Reducing Debt
- Setting Goals and Practicing Delayed Gratification
- Nurture an Attitude of Gratitude
- Pray, Pray, Pray
Do It Today
How many times do we put something off simply because we don’t realize how important it is. This chapter addresses the Fundamental Life Principle of Sowing and Reaping. This may sound like the Prosperity Principle, but it isn’t. Mr. Slaughter goes into great detail outlining the importance of sowing with a heart desire to please God. He lists seven steps that we should do today that will bring not just immediate results, but will also allow us to reap blessings as we enter the different phases of our lives (think retirement). We should:
- Perform a Financial Analysis
- Begin aggressively reducing debt
- Create an Emergency Fund
- Acquire adequate Life Insurance
- Write a will
- Evaluate your giving
- Create a Budget
Investing In God’s Future Harvest
Finally, getting our finances in order using Biblical principles takes faith. When we live our lives by faith we have a totally different outlook on life. We realize everything we have is God’s. This understanding will allow us to live and give thankfully, faithfully, and sacrificially.
What I think
This book is not designed to be a how-to book but rather a book to remind us that by focusing on God and His blessings on us, we can be successful even when those around us are struggling. It is not a get rich quick plan, but instead a plan that will require a life style change for most people. I enjoyed reading this book and think you will too.
As I said earlier it is a short book but packed full of great information. I highly recommend you pick up a copy of this book and start putting these principles to work for you. I will help at least one person out by giving away my copy of this book. All you have to do is leave a comment on how the economy is impacting you or how you are winning in spite of the economy.