Book Review: How to Be Rich



Let’s get the awkwardness out of the way…I’m rich and you are too.  It doesn’t take more than a quick glance around our homes with all the latests gadgets and closets overflowing with things that we never use…to realize how abundantly blessed we are.  One of the fastest growing businesses in America is the storage business…we have so much stuff that it doesn’t even fit in our houses that already contain more space than we could possibly ever need!  This book isn’t a “get rich quick” scheme, it is a mandate to be generous as we steward all that we have…whether you have it all now or are well on your way to having it all one day.

How to Be Rich by Andy Stanley is a great read for anyone growing up in our culture of abundance.  From the littlest kid to the oldest grandparent, every one of us wants something…the latest this or the flashiest that…all on our quest to be happy.  Andy’s message is one that challenges us on the proper placement of our hope and our happiness…

“I will not trust in riches, but in him who richly provides.”

One of my favorite thoughts from this book came towards the end when Andy reminds us that we will win few people over with our theology, but we have an incredible opportunity to win over scores of people with our generosity.  I pray that my life will be marked by generosity that points people to Jesus.

I highlighted several things while reading and have posted those below…

  • It’s what you do with what you have that will count either for you or against you in the kingdom of heaven.
  • I want you to help me reanchor the church to undeniable, mind-boggling, culture-shifting demonstrations of compassion and generosity.
  • The richer you get, however, the more your priorities begin to separate from actual needs.
  • Guilt rarely results in positive behavior. But gratitude? Great things flow from a heart of gratitude.
  • The moral of the story? “Rich” is a moving target. No matter how much money we have or make, we will probably never consider ourselves rich. The biggest challenge facing rich people is that they’ve lost their ability to recognize that they’re rich.
  • Studies show that the richer people get, the smaller the percentage of money they give away.
  • People who are good at being rich are the ones who are willing to admit they are, in fact, rich.
  • “Wealth is like sea-water; the more we drink, the thirstier we become.” Arthur Schopenhauer
  • We need to acquire the management skills that match our level of wealth in the world.
  • The key, as the old saying goes, is to possess money without it possessing you.
  • Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain … (1 Timothy 6:17)
  • Specifically, Paul writes, money does two things to people: It makes us arrogant, and over time it becomes our primary source of hope, leaving us with the impression that we are self-sufficient.
  • Proverbs 18:11 describes the migration of hope this way: “The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they imagine it a wall too high to scale.
  • “Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’” (Proverbs 30:8 – 9).
  • Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. (1 Timothy 6:17)
  • Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Timothy 6:18)
  • “I will not trust in riches but in him who richly provides.
  • “If your desires be endless, your cares and fears will be so too.” Thomas Fuller
  • Jesus taught his followers a rather interesting definition of greed. He said that greed is the assumption that everything placed in our hands is for our consumption.
  • “When I have money, I get rid of it quickly, lest it find a way into my heart.” John Wesley
  • No matter how rich or poor you might feel, right now is the time to be generous.
  • “What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.” Abraham Maslow
  • Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. (1 Timothy 6:9)
  • But godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Timothy 6:6)
  • For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. (1 Timothy 6:7 – 8)
  • How does one find contentment in a media-saturated culture built on an advertisement-driven economy? How do you say “enough” in a world that has fine-tuned its messaging so as to make you continually dissatisfied with everything you currently own? How can we rich people, the ones with extra money, find the will power to say no when, technically, we can afford to say yes?
  • Stop unnecessarily exposing yourself to environments that make you discontent with what you have.
  • “If one first gives himself to the Lord, all other giving is easy.” John S. Bonnell
  • Praise be to you, LORD, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor. (1 Chronicles 29:10 – 11a)
  • For everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. (1 Chronicles 29:12)
  • God doesn’t want to take your money; he just doesn’t want your money to take you.
  • Command those who are rich in this present world … (1 Timothy 6:17)
  • “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Mark 8:36)
  • While Christianity had none of the conventional strengths required to start a movement, its appeal and influence can be traced to an unexpected source: generosity.
  • The best ministry we can offer on God’s behalf isn’t to explain our theology. It’s to extend our generosity.
  • If you are rich in this life, don’t be arrogant and please don’t place your hope in wealth. It’s so uncertain. Instead, place your hope in God who richly provides you with everything for your enjoyment. Do good! Be rich in good deeds! Be generous and willing to share. When you do, you lay up a treasure for yourself that serves as a firm foundation in the coming age. And that’s not all. Selfless generosity allows you to take hold of life as it was meant to be lived.
2 comments to “Book Review: How to Be Rich”
  1. Read the book on the plane yesterday.
    Thank you for summarizing and reaffirming what I believe. Affluenza is reaching epidemic proportions. I’m praying that the church will be the church and reach out to the hurting and lost like never before.

  2. Megan – I like how you think! I bet you are a great principal! Your blog is inspiring me to want to start my own. Good practice for thinking and presenting worthwhile thoughts!!! Any pointers???

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