Thursday, September 22, 2011

Book Review: Debt-Free Living by Larry Burkett

Riveting, powerful and rich. These are the feelings that I carried with myself as I read through my first Larry Burkett book. The real life stories in the first half of the book stuck in my mind, and I highly recommend this book to read BEFORE you begin Dave Ramsey’s program. The stories do an excellent job covering real life examples of the dangers of debt and how they slowly creep into our daily lives and encourage us to stomp on the acceleration pedal when using credit. I honestly couldn’t put the book down; the material had excellent depth as it demonstrated the weaving of relationships between our perceived self worth and our attitude towards personal finances.
Admittedly, even from my Christian perspective, the book does get rather preachy in the second half. But the lessons learned and the points emphasized truly are second to none. The exploration into how and why the use of revolving credit creeps into our lives and encourages hyper-consumerism made an instant intellectual and emotional connection that I believe will resonate with you too.
Of course the underlying issue remains: Is practicing sound financial money management common sense or biblical? For me, through self rationalization and implementation of sound/old-school financial management principles, I have found that the answer is, both. Once getting my financial house in order, I found more time and energy to exert on the relationships that are important in my life. A big piece of what I value in religion is the value of relationships that we have with one another. When the stresses that come along with abusing the use of credit and having more month than money were gone, the attention and focus on what I really want out of life: which is valued and quality relationships.    

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