The two books that have changed my life, which I will share with you this month, are:
1. Thou Shall Prosper 10 Commandments for Making Money by Daniel Lapin
2. Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney
These two books are not the kind of books you can read through once. Like the Bible, if you will reap the benefit of these two books, you will need to read them through more than once. Lasting change only comes by meditating on what we read and allowing the words to reach us, at the heart level.
Thou Shall Prosper: 10 Commandments for Making Money has had more impact upon me than any other book on finances. I learned that the way I thought about money was all wrong. Thou Shalt Prosper will take you back to the Word of God and show how wealth and success, gained through diligence and hard work, is something admirable and encouraged in God’s word.
The foreword begins with a quote from Thomas Edison, who says, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” If you are going to change your financial future, there is no way you are going to do it in God’s economy without work. If money is not earned, rarely is it kept. The Bible says, riches has wings and it flies away (Prov. 23:5). Therefore, if you will keep it, you will need to learn how to make it.
Rabbi Lapin dispels many of the false theories regarding Jews and their financial success. Jews are known for being one of the wealthiest and successful people in business and in Hollywood. They own many of the fortune 500 companies and own or influence much of Hollywood. The four misconceptions he addresses are:
- Jews become wealthy through natural selection
- Jews are deceptive and dishonest in their business practices – I had justified my lack and poverty of mind by looking at the success of others as due to unscrupulous means of achievement. I associated their success with dishonest gain. An open Bible with Biblical teaching changed my limiting beliefs.
- All Jews belong in a secret network
- Jews are smarter than everyone else
The Ten Commandments in the book are as follows:
- Believe in the dignity and morality of business
- Extend your network of connectedness to many people
- Get to know yourself
- Do not pursue perfection
- Lead consistently and constantly
- Constantly change the changeable while steadfastly clinging to the unchangeable
- Learn to foretell the future
- Know your money
- Act rich. Giveaway 10% of income after taxes. Everyone that is successful is big givers. They cultivated giving when they had little.
- Never retire – There is no word for retire in the Hebrew scriptures
The second book that changed my life is Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney.
I recently reread this book with fresh new eyes, after many years.
According to Whitney, God uses three primary catalysts to change us.
1. God changes us through other people.
We need people because “Iron sharpens iron.” Isolation stunts growth. Scripture reminds us that, “…every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” – 1 Cor. 4:7. For Love to be seen, it must be demonstrated to others (1 Cor. 13:4-7). You cannot demonstrate Love if you are isolated from others (Rom. 5:8).
2. God changes us through our circumstances.
Trials and difficulties produce character. Hope, patience, and perseverance are developed and guides us through. Our trials will make us stronger IF WE LET THEM!
3. God changes us through spiritual disciplines.
Whitney says they are like channels of God’s transforming grace.
The goal of this book is to teach you how to be Godly. You cannot be a Godly person
without discipline. Several disciplines are taught with practical steps on how to grow in
them. Such as daily Bible intake, prayer, worship, evangelism, service, stewardship,
fasting, solitude, journaling, and learning.
These Books have changed my life. Maybe they will change your life too!