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Book Review: The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn


Two days ago, I read all 94 substantive pages of The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving by Randy Alcorn. (I say 94 substantive pages, because the rest is a series of prayers to seek God�s will for giving, and a few promotional pages common in books of this type.) While the book is no work of John Piper, he does recommend it, �Supercharged with stunning, divine truth! Lightning struck over and over as I read it� (from the back cover).

I cannot say that �lightning struck over and over� I can say that I find Alcorn both eminently quotable, and very good at distributing common sense wisdom reminiscent of Poor Richard�s Almanack.

To evidence a few of his quotes, see the following selection of a few I liked.

�According to Jesus, storing up earthly treasures isn�t simply wrong. It�s just plain stupid.�

�God�s money to do God�s work.�

�Money leads; hearts follow.�

�What kind of trust does it take to part with your money when you die?�

And so on and so forth.

The book argues that giving essentially benefits the giver as much as the receiver. Alcorn says that Jesus himself said so. Unarguably this is true, what those of certain upbringings may find difficult is his insistence that we remember that giving reaps us benefits in heaven. This is true, but should not be our reason for giving. Similar arguments have been used for salvation. Believe so you won�t go to hell is not an acceptable motivation, and give so that you can get is not either.

Giving is sorely needed in churches these days, and Alcorn walks up, smacks you on the side of the head, and says, Doi! Giving benefits you as much as the receiver. Wake up and smell the coffee!

I am thankful for his writing, it�s an easy reading 94 pages, his six easy to remember principles of giving will stay in your mind without taking up much of that space devoted to your finances (so hopefully you’ll remember to give at least 10%), and his sound bite method of writing will make it easier to remember the important life lessons when needed.

This should not discourage the reader from taking the two hours to read the book. You will learn simple life lessons, read some interesting stories of living by faith, and learn that living on 90% of God�s income is actually not as hard as you think.

Just remember, it isn�t your money, you can�t take it with you, and God blesses those who give. Give and be blessed!