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What I’m Reading: Randy Alcorn’s The Treasure Principle

I confess that I have a weak spot for small books. It’s refreshing when authors can condense the gist of their burden into 100 well-used pages. I’ve labored through some books the size of Moby Dick (take that literally or figuratively), but an easy read from Mahaney or Harris or Alcorn is almost always time well spent.

All that to say, I heartily commend Randy Alcorn’s The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving. It’s a little book with big ideas. He encourages generous, joy-inducing giving, and his life has modeled that burden. You’ll be improved for the read. Here are a few random gems:

  • “Our giving is a reflexive response to the grace of God in our lives.” (p. 31)
  • “By telling us that our hearts follow our treasure [Matthew 6:21], Jesus is saying, ‘Show me your checkbook, your VISA statement, and your receipts, and I’ll show you where your heart is.'” (p. 44)
  • “Sooner or later, everything we own ends up [in a landfill]. Christmas and birthday presents. Cars, boats, and hot tubs. Clothes, stereos, and barbecues. The treasures that our children quarreled about, friendships were lost over, honesty was sacrificed for, and marriages broke up over—all ends up here. (I recommend taking a family field trip to a junkyard. It’s a powerful object lesson.)” (p. 49)
  • “The act of giving is a vivid reminder that it’s all about God, not about us. It’s saying I am not the point, He is the point. He does not exist for me. I exist for Him. God’s money has a higher purpose than my affluence. Giving is a joyful surrender to a greater person and a greater agenda. Giving affirms Christ’s lordship. It dethrones me and exalts Him. It breaks the chains of mammon that would enslave me.” (p. 59)
  • “I have mixed feelings [about tithing]. I detest legalism. I certainly don’t want to try to pour new wine into old wineskins, imposing superseded First Covenant restrictions on Christians. Every New Testament example of giving goes far beyond the tithe. However, none falls short of it.” (p. 62, part of a provocative discussion on the applicability of the tithe for New Testament Christians)
  • “[Lord,] Do I really see myself as Your delivery person? Or do I assume that because You’ve put something in my hands, I’m supposed to keep it for myself?” (p. 102, part of a series of 31 thought-provoking questions he suggests we ask God about our giving)

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