How to live
Christian stewardship is about more than dollars and cents. God isn't after our pocketbooks, but our hearts. In this follow up to "The Blessed Life", Pastor Robert Morris goes beyond generosity to discuss the fundamental principals of Stewardship that lead to a life that is "Beyond Blessed".
I have been fortunate to have been involved with Gateway Church’s Financial Stewardship ministry for 3+ years. During that time I’ve listened to many sermons, read multiple books, and taught several classes. The stewardship DNA of Gateway is one of my favorite things about this church. They love people and want to see them successful and blessed in every area, including their finances. Given this history, I was very excited when I learned of Pastor Robert’s newest book, “Beyond Blessed”. After reading it, I highly recommend it as a foundational summary on the principles of Christian stewardship.
Pastor Robert Morris became famous for his classic “The Blessed Life”, which was written about 15 years ago. In this book, he talks about the importance of tithing and generosity in our finances. It is an excellent read and clearly communicates the right perspective on giving. However, it doesn’t address many other vital concepts of financial stewardship such as budgeting or debt reduction. “Beyond Blessed” addresses many of these topics from a solid Biblical view.
This book is not a detailed how to guide on any one financial principal. It won’t go in to detail about stocks vs. bonds, which budgeting tools are best, or how much you should have saved for retirement. It is a book of principles. In this I feel it is even more important than if it were purely a practical resource. Many people, including believers, can have a perfect budget but still miss the heart behind stewardship. Perhaps they are fearful that God won’t provide fully, so they are obsessive savers. Maybe they are determined to retire at 40 and are working, saving, and investing to extreme levels to achieve a poorly thought out goal. Things that may look like good stewardship from the outside may be rooted in bad belief systems and only lead to a different type of destruction.
Pastor Robert deals with many of the heart issues while giving balanced practical wisdom. For example, I appreciated his stance on debt, which is often a hard line “No!” from many Christian finance teachers. Rather, he advocates for a moderate and balanced perspective, focusing again on the heart and not just the concept.
There were items I wish had been addressed more, like what the Bible says about retirement and how to balance levels of giving and savings. However, I recognize that much of what I look for in a stewardship book, given my familiarity with the “basics”, is different than what most need to hear. “Beyond Blessed” is a sound overview of the important topics but doesn’t go deep in to many nuanced and specialized questions.
If you are new to Christianity or Biblical Stewardship, I cannot recommend this book enough. It will provide a foundational belief systems on savings, spending, and giving that will serve you for many years.
Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, I appreciate how Pastor Robert continually emphasized that stewardship is about more than math. God works miracles when we surrender ALL of our money to Him. Debts are paid off faster than planned, raises come unexpectedly, and investments perform better than expected. Trusting Him with our finances is the absolute best plan you can have! Read “Beyond Blessed” to get started on doing just that.