I mentor a group of 8 guys each year. The group meets once a month. We memorize Scripture together, read books together, and challenge and sharpen one another. We cover topics (in our reading and memorization) like parenting, casting vision, identity in Christ, finances, sexuality, manhood, etc. My 2014 group just concluded our year together this week, and the final book we went through was called The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn. Each guy is required to write a brief summary of the books we read, and I asked Tyler if he’d be cool with me posting his review here at 2thesource.
The Treasure Principle
My first thought when finishing The Treasure Principle was: “Dear God, I have so far to go in becoming like You.”
Now, I know that the words in this book are not news to us. If we’ve been around the church for any length of time, we’ve heard these scriptures and these nuggets of wisdom; but all of this is so incredibly counter-cultural that it felt like the first time all over again.
Honestly, I do not live the way that this book would have me live. I put so much of my trust in my ability to store and maintain resources. When I succeed, I feel like I am in control. When I fail, I question whether I’m good enough and live in a constant state of discomfort.
What this book did for me was confirm in me that I truly am not enough… I wasn’t made to be enough. I was created in the image of the Owner, but I am not the owner. I am a manager. I have a responsibility, but not the responsibility of the owner. This was yet another area of my life where the Gospel says, Christ is enough!
One thing that really stuck out to me in the book was the following sentence:
As I’ve written elsewhere, heaven will be a place of rest and relief from the burdens of sin and suffering; but it will also be a place of great learning, activity, artistic expression, exploration, discovery, camaraderie, and service.
While the back half of this sentence excites the creative side of me, it’s the first part that really hit me. I have the opportunity to invite people into an eternity of life as God intended it. I’m not sure why this opened my eyes and made me see clearly, but it did. The fog of my Western brain and ideas of heaven and eternal life were lifted, and the goodness of God in eternity was made real to me.
This will transform the way I view my money:
A.W. Tozer said:
As base a thing as money often is, it yet can be transmuted into everlasting treasure. It can be converted into food for the hungry and clothing for the poor; it can keep a missionary actively winning lost men to the light of the gospel and thus transmute itself into heavenly values. Any temporal possession can be turned into everlasting wealth. Whatever is given to Christ is immediately touched with immortality.
This realization makes the constant pursuit of accrual seem extremely petty. When John D. Rockefeller’s accountant was asked about the amount of money that was left after Rockefeller’s death, the reply was: “He left… all of it.” Wow.
If I were asked at any point in my adult life, I would definitely agree that money, wealth, and recognition are not the answers to my problems, but do I really live that way? I feel convicted about this. I was reminded of the quote from famous actor Jim Carrey:
I hope everybody could get rich and famous and will have everything they ever dreamed of, so they will know that it’s not the answer.
I think we all know this in our heads, but we still strive for this in our hearts. At least I do.
This book was a very eye-opening account of God’s plan for me and my finances. And I’m grateful for it. I hope that I look back on this book at the end of my life, and smile because the following is true of me:
The fact that you’re reading these words is likely part of God’s plan to change your life- and in turn to change history and eternity.