After writing “More than Giving, More than Saving”, I began my search for knowledge in regards to the world of finance and investing. In my search, I came across the work of Sean Hyman.
Sean is a former pastor who has dedicated his life to teaching others what the Bible has to say about success, money and financial stewardship. Sean’s book, “Six Keys to Financial Success”, is one of the tools that Sean uses to assist people like you and me in making financial decisions based on Godly principles. “Six Keys to Financial Success” is an ebook and at only 47 pages, is more of a booklet than a full fledged book. Don’t let that stop you from reading it, however, because it is well worth your time.
Being a novice, I appreciate the simplicity and straightforwardness of Sean’s book. Sean uses plain, everyday words and grammar and while finance and investment does contain plenty of advanced concepts, “Six Keys to Financial Success” is written for the beginner and assumes you have no prior knowledge or training. In other words, it’s a great place for a person like me to start.
Along with being easy to read, “Six Keys to Financial Success” is also generally encouraging and provides a lot of useful information for anyone who wants to get their life on solid financial ground. If you’ve ever suffered (or are suffering) from debt problems and can’t seem to get your head above water, “Six Keys to Financial Success” would be a great place to start your debt recovery.
Sean’s basic premise in “Six Keys to Financial Success” is that God desires his people to live in such a way that we are always in a position to bless others with our abundance. Debt causes a deficit and a lack of abundance and inhibits our ability to bless others and based on what the Bible says, God would not have us live in such a way.
Sean’s six keys are as follows:
1. Pray for God’s Favor and Blessing in Your Work – I love that Sean starts this with prayer. Beginning any endeavor with prayer and entreaty to God means that we are acknowledging Him as the ultimate authority and that without His blessing we are laboring in vain. Seek Him first! Pray for the business that you work for and pray for those who work along side you and over you. Acknowledge God in all your ways while working and He will bless the fruit of your hands.
2. Tithes and Offerings: 10% Plus Some, Not just 10% – God desires us to be givers. If you’ve read last month’s book review (Plastic Donuts: Giving that Delights the Heart of the Father) then you know that while tithing is important and God promises blessings to those who tithe, it is joyful giving that really pleases Him. God richly blesses those who give in abundance. I’ve seen this in my own life and Sean writes about how he has seen it in his life. I’ve always heard it put “you can’t out give God” and that is entirely accurate. Be a giver!
3. Save Money and Reduce Your Debts – The Bible clearly shows that this world will go through times of plenty and times of lack. Those who “build a storehouse” will not suffer loss when the lean times come. For us today, that means having a healthy savings account and developing the discipline to keep it that way. Despite what we might think, we don’t need the latest and greatest of anything and we could probably do without much of what we now have. By cutting expenses and putting the extra into savings we are putting ourselves into a good position for a rainy day. There’s no need to stress about a car repair or appliance replacement when we have a healthy savings account and we are certainly in a better position to help others when we aren’t having to worry about making ends meet each month.
4. Invest for Your Future – Much like the topic of “More than Giving, More than Saving”, Sean encourages putting your money to work by wisely investing it. Using the parable of the talents, Sean illustrates how God gives to us according to our ability and then expects us to develop what He has given us. In order to be given more, we need to “enlarge our territory” by increasing our abilities. God is only going to bestow on us the blessings that we can handle. In order to be more fully blessed, we need to be in a position to receive it by learning and working as hard as we can. Invest in knowledge, invest in increased ability and invest the finances that God has blessed you with.
5. Philanthropy – Once again, be a giver. Put yourself into a position where you can bless your pastor, your church, your family and the poor and needy with your finances. Sean says, and I agree with him, that those who give generously tend to do better in life than those who don’t. That’s pretty self-explanatory but it really can’t be overstated.
6. Be the Lender and Not the Borrower – Following the above five principles will put us in a position where we are not dependent on the bank or a credit account. We can become the lender because we have the abundance to do so. Proverbs 22:7 says the borrower is slave to the lender and our Lord would not have us be in bondage to anyone or anything. Taking on debt to obtain material goods may be the American way but that does not make it God’s way. God does not get glory out of His children being poor and destitute because of bad financial decisions.
I appreciate “Six Keys to Financial Success” for what it has already taught me and how it is shaping my thinking about finances. Sean Hyman would be a great person for any Christian who wants to know more about financial stewardship to read and study more about. His life story and path to success is based on Godly wisdom and Biblical principles and the world we live in could use many more people like him.
ISBN -13: 9781456602444