While the Bible is the ultimate source of financial wisdom, some fantastic books have been written on Christian personal finance that help us stay in tuned with God’s wishes for our financial lives. As a stewardship director and all around financial guy, people are always recommending (and often giving) me books on Christian finance, so much so that my bookshelf is a disaster; books are haphazardly stacked this way and that, teetering on the edge of the shelf or forming messy little stacks all over the floor. A few weeks ago, I was organizing this cumbersome book collection and I kept seeing books that had either changed my life or been instrumental in changing the lives of people I’d counseled, so I thought it would be a good idea to recommend 10 books on finance that every Christian should read. Here they are in no particular order:
Money, Possessions, & Eternity by Randy Alcorn is a classic and a great place to get an overview of what the Bible ACTUALLY says about money and how we should always keep an eternal focus. It deals with issues of materialism, stewardship, prosperity theology, debt, and more is a simple straightforward way.
A Life Well Spent by Russ Crosson. Russ Crosson is a personal friend, mentor and financial guru of the highest order and I recommend his book to people constantly. His approach is interesting: get your life and priorities together and the question of how to handle your money will be apparent. He also puts a focus on teaching our children to manage money God’s way to save them from the financial heartache we’ve experienced.
Freedom of Simplicity: Finding Harmony in a Complex World by Richard Foster. Richard Foster’s manifesto against the culture of “me” and “more” that has infected the world is a life changer. It will make you think twice about why we pursue the lifestyles we do when there are more satisfying ways to live.
The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving by Randy Alcorn. The so-called “treasure principle,” taught in the Bible but widely neglected today, is just this: When it comes to money, you can’t take it with you—but you can send it on ahead. This book was almost single handedly the reason I sold my tax practice and house to pursue a more meaningful life. Don’t be fooled by the book’s size. It’s the Rocky of Christian finance books; it’s small but packs a major punch.
How to Manage Your Money by Larry Burkett. No list would be complete without a book by Larry Burkett. I had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Burkett when he was alive and count him as one of my personal heroes. How to Manage Your Money is just like the man who wrote it: no-nonsense, unassuming, and vanilla, but so on point that you have no choice but to heed the words.
The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko. Danko and Stanley spent 20 years studying every detail of millionaires’ lives and wrote this book to lay out the principles that EVERY millionaire they studied had in common. Guess what? Each of the four principles (Live below your means, Live on a budget, Avoid debt, and Save regularly) are found time and again in the Bible. The goal is not to be a millionaire, but the book proves that the Biblical way of doing money works.
Don’t Waste your Life by John Piper. The most powerful and convicting book I’ve ever read on any subject. Piper cuts to the bone, doesn’t spare feelings, and never minces words as he warns us not to get caught up in a life that counts for nothing. It will challenge you to live and die boasting in the cross of Christ and making the glory of God your singular passion. If you buy one book on this list, get this one.
God and Your Stuff by Wesley Wilmer and Martyn Smith. In this book, Willmer addresses the link between your eternal soul and earthly possessions. He challenges the notion that the way we use our money and possessions has nothing to do with our Christian walk.
The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. If you’re a human being and you haven’t heard of this one, come out from under that rock and pick this one up. Written for an audience of Christians and non-Christians alike, the book covers a broad variety of day-to-day concerns, prominently among them our use of money and our attitude toward possessions. If you’re new to Christianity or Christian Finance, start here.
Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. While I disagree with Dave Ramsey on some issues, this book is a fantastic, practical guide to get your finances in order. The principles you may already know, but this book will help you put them into practice in a no-nonsense, easy to follow way.
Did I forget one? Send me your favorite Christian finance book by leaving a comment below.