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Your Host, Randy Petrick
  • Writer's pictureRandy Petrick

Randy Alcorn's "The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving"

Book Review by Randy Petrick, ChFC, RICP


Have you ever felt like you were receiving “heavenly guidance” toward the right book just when you needed it? I have. Such was the case when I came across Randy Alcorn’s The Treasure Principle.


The title and subtitle both caught my attention. From the title, I thought, “Who wouldn’t like to read about Treasure?” And I’m always up to learning some new Principles.” Then, when I read the subtitle, “Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving,” I thought, “Secrets? Hey, I love secrets!” Alcorn had me.


A man studiously reading from a giant book

So, I started reading the book [Note the photographer’s representation of me reading the GIANT PRINT version!], and the short of it is that The Treasure Principle became one of my all-time favorite books in the Christian/Money/Giving category.


Take Note: The Treasure Principle may challenge you to reevaluate your wealth, generosity, and stewardship perspectives. It did for me.  


Alcorn encourages us to live lives of radical generosity that reflect God’s heart toward us. Shouldn’t our giving flow from a deep reverence for God as the ultimate owner and provider of all things? How much better would it be to invest in heavenly treasures with eternal significance?


  • Why not live with mindsets of stewardship and generosity rather than indulgence and self-centeredness?

  • Why not see our resources as opportunities to bless others and demonstrate our faithfulness in administering God’s wealth?

  • Why not see wealth as a responsibility God gives us rather than a measure of our success or security?


Alcorn isn’t just giving us financial advice. He’s calling us to align our wealth management with God’s principles. Earthly wealth is temporary, but investing in God’s Kingdom has lasting value.


The Three Main Points:


  1. God owns everything, and we are His stewards. Everything we possess, including our time, talents, money, and resources, are entrusted to us by God for His purposes.

  2. We are managers, not owners. We should seek wisdom to help us manage our resources, utilizing them for God’s purposes.

  3. When we use our resources to further God’s Kingdom and help others in need, we invest in “eternal” treasures. Doing so will bring us greater fulfillment than pursuing “temporary” wealth or comfort.

Summarized, the heart of the book is the principle of storing up treasures in heaven rather than on earth, as Jesus instructs in Matthew 6: 19-21 (NIV):


“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”



Thought-Provoking Quotes

A man in a dark gray suit looking thoughtfully out in the distance.

Quote Number One:


In Isaiah 58:6-10, God says that His willingness to answer our prayers is directly affected by whether we are caring for the hungry, needy, and oppressed. Want to empower your prayer life? Give. (33)


Have you ever seen an author make a connection between giving and an empowered prayer life? I hadn’t. I went right over to Isaiah 58 to check it out. Alcorn was right! Verse seven talks about sharing our food with the hungry, sheltering the poor wanderer, and clothing the naked. The results of those actions start in verse eight, and sure enough, verse nine says, “Then you will call, and the Lord will answer your cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.” Wow. That’s a spectacular promise!


Quote Number Two:


Suppose you have something important you want to get to someone who needs it. You wrap it up and hand it over to the FedEx guy. What would you think if, instead of delivering the package, he took it home, opened it, and kept it for himself? You’d say, “This guy doesn’t get it. The packages don’t belong to him. He’s just the middleman. His job is to get them from me to the person I want him to hand them off to.” Just because God puts His money in our hands doesn’t mean He intends for it to stay there. (76-77)


Gosh. I wonder how often I was supposed to be the FedEx “delivery” person and completely dropped the ball. Receiving unforeseen additional resources isn’t that uncommon. Could God have been testing me with opportunities to bless others and to demonstrate my faithfulness in stewarding His resources? Perhaps in ways that would have eternal significance for His Kingdom? [Thankfully, you can’t see me blushing. I sure hope I get the next one right.]

Conclusion:


In a world where materialism and greed seem to reign supreme, Randy Alcorn’s book, The Treasure Principle, is a powerful reminder of the eternal perspective we are called to have as followers of Jesus Christ.


The Treasure Principle isn’t merely a call to give. It is a call to live with a radical trust in God’s provision and a deep commitment to honoring Him with our resources. Alcorn helps us view our finances through a scriptural lens, encouraging us to shift from mere accumulation to more intentional, God-honoring stewardship.


Alcorn also reminds us that generosity is a deliberate and intentional lifestyle choice. Our financial choices need not be just transactions; they can be spiritual investments, bringing priceless treasure and liberating joy our way.


The Treasure Principle nudged me farther from wealth accumulation and materialism and closer to being a faithful overseer and manager of God’s resources. That’s a winning result.

 

An extended hand with five gold stars floating above it.

FIVE STARS. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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