This article was written by Darcy Grindel – a freelance writer and editor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Money, Purpose, Joy by Matt Bell is full of encouragement and hope for those who want a healthy financial future. It is organized, cohesive, realistic, and convincing. If your life is lacking in money, purpose, or joy, you need to read this book! If your life is lacking in all three, then you really need to read this book!
The book is divided into four parts: Where We Are, Where We Belong, How We’ll Get There, and Help for the Journey. The Bible verses at the beginning of each part create a continuity throughout the book. Each chapter ends with key points to remember, exercises to do, and Bible verses to apply. The author has also written a discussion guide and a personal workbook to be used in conjunction with Money, Purpose, Joy.
Matt Bell begins by sharing his own story of going into debt (wandering from home). He explains that the cultural messages we receive about money are misleading and, if we listen to them, they take us the opposite direction from where we want to go (toward home). When Matt was spending all his money and then some, he was listening to the wrong messages. Fortunately, there were people in his life who were willing to help him. Just as they helped him, Matt Bell wants to help us turn away from worldly goods and perspectives and, instead, turn toward God.
Matt encourages us to pursue our “true desires–powerful, heartfelt longings for that which gives our lives meaning and joy.” When we pursue our true desires, we honor God and His plan for our lives. In addition, we need to manage our money successfully to both sustain our true desires and glorify God.
How do we manage our money successfully? We re-think our financial commitments. We consider whether or not the financial choices we are making are in line with our true desires. We commit to pay down our debts and begin saving. We fill out the charts in Money, Purpose, Joy and put the practical suggestions to work. We answer the specific questions throughout the book. We change our focus from being a consumer to a builder. When we change our focus, our attitudes change, our priorities change, and our financial situation changes for the better.
The author shows us that we can get out of debt and we can do it for the right reasons. A hope permeates the book, and there are many Bible references to guide us along the way. The heartwarming stories about others who have made good choices and bad help us to reflect on our own choices. While this book will appeal to Christians, it is also a great tool to lead others to Christ. Matt was not walking with Christ when he went on his spending spree, but he shows us how his faith grew and changed his life.
This book is about improving your financial situation, this book is about God, this book is about relationships, this book is about hope. Matt Bell comes along side us in Money, Purpose, Joy. He shows us where we have been. He meets us where we are. He walks with us on our journey. He encourages us to travel on in financial community.
This is not a book to read and set aside. This is a book to refer to when you need guidance, when you need concrete ideas, or when you just need someone to walk with you.