This Instagram tag was a pleasant surprise to wake up to one morning several weeks back. I realize if I had wanted to post about this the week it happened, I’m a bit late.
I took a screenshot of Jen Sincero‘s post and was going to share it on social media, and then … I worried what people, specifically Christians, would think of me promoting a book with a “bad word” in the title.
As I started preparing a status update, one thing led to another and now I have an entire blog post here about it, and then forgot about posting it.
Incidentally, her book You Are a Badass At Making Money is one of the best things I’ve ever read or listened to, whether talking about spiritual matters or business themes. For much of 2019 and 2020 I’ve listened to the audio version repeatedly, along with Kris Vallotton’s Poverty, Riches and Wealth: Moving from a Life of Lack into True Kingdom Abundance. To me, both books are equally powerful, only Jen Sincero’s doesn’t come out and quote Bible verses. Otherwise, much of it is … surprisingly Biblical, I find. You might not.
To clarify, I find a lot of Biblical principles in the business and self-development books I’ve been reading for the last few years, and sometimes spiritual concepts have come more alive and real to me thanks to books that might not even be intentionally teaching the Bible or using chapter and verse references.
You Are a Badass At Making Money was something the Lord has used and has been using in my life and personal study to help me change my mindset because let’s face it, when it comes to wealth and abundance, Christians tend to fall into one of two ditches: one is to
fall jump into a hardcore “prosperity Gospel” rut, which as it’s taught and popularly understood is a problematic doctrine. But the caveat I’d urge you to consider is that Biblical prosperity itself is not sinful — an incorrect belief which incidentally leads to the other ditch, that poverty is somehow more spiritual than wealth.
Neither of these is true, yet it seems, at least from my experience, many more Christians will vociferously fight you on the “prosperity Gospel”, but few if any will bat an eyelash at the false poverty Gospel even more prevalent in the Body of Christ.
I’ve never understood why we call one extreme an error, but not the other. It seems the Church is much more tolerant and accommodating of scarcity and lack than we are of abundance. Some embrace lack as a reaction of swinging hard to the other end of the spectrum to avoid an extreme “prosperity Gospel” or any thorn seeds of greed that may be lurking in one’s heart that would grow if nurtured.
Side note, one of my favorite preachers/teachers was a successful businessman in real estate before he gave his life to Christ. Almost immediately he quit his job and became a truck driver not because God had given him any specific instruction to do so or a revelation about it, nor was it because anybody in his church or that denomination were pressuring him to. The way he tells his testimony, it was because he thought staying in his previous job would be sinful. He got the idea from the evangelical culture around him that it was sinful to have a lot of stuff (wealth).
Some other believers bang the pendulum hard on the ‘poverty’ end to resist facing that they are going the way of least resistance in their life and don’t want to be reminded of it. So they perceive and accuse successful or wealthy people of having a greedy heart or wrong motives or whatever the accusation may be, whether there’s truth to it or not, when in reality such finger-pointing is a reflection, and sometimes indictment, of their own heart.
They (mis)use Scripture like
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.1 Timothy 6:10
And a verse out of context that, mentions in passing,
…but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.Mark 4:19, see Matt 13:22 & Luke 8:13
What’s interesting to me is how many people leave out that it’s the LOVE of money that is the root of all sorts of evil. Not all who have an abundance of financial resources necessarily have it because they lost sight of their first love and craved money. On the contrary. Some are successful, and as a result, wealthy, because they’ve been found by the Lord and man to be faithful stewards of what little they were originally entrusted with.
“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.”Luke 16:10
And yes, riches can be deceptive and alluring, just like any other temptation (sexual, power, substance abuse, etc…) can be. But what may tempt one doesn’t necessarily tempt another. The fact something, like say alcohol, can be something one person might need to abstain from in order to stay “on the wagon” doesn’t mean that thing in and of itself is a sin and to be avoided by all believers. I may not have to fight to resist something like you do because it doesn’t entice me in the first place. You might not need a family filter on your computer like your porn-addicted neighbor does.
The same is true with money.
Anyway, here’s the caption I wrote on my original Instagram post:
I can’t get English books very easily down here in Peru, so I have to rely on Kindle and Audible for my content.
For a long time, I resisted reading either of these because of the title, but finally, once I did, I wound up listening to the money one at least a dozen times during the pandemic.
It has also become the book I have gifted the most.
Specifically to church folk, at that. Many believers I come across are afraid of making a lot of money and mistakenly believe poverty is somehow more spiritual than wealth, but I don’t think bake sales and car washes are the best way to fund Kingdom mission.
This book is continuing to shed my scarcity mindset and I can’t recommend it enough. Thanks for sharing this with the world, @jensincero