Hello again, savvy savers! Upon reflection, in terms of this book, I decided to re-write my review to help my readership better understand the text of this edition, Financial Empowerment: Realign Your Finances to God’s Will, by Pamela Carmichael.
To begin, I would like to say that I did enjoy the way in which the author generously references the reasons why individuals need to work to sustain both a positive spiritual base, as well as an even economic standing, in terms of savings, personal and collected debt, as well as strategies to remain debt-free going forward. The text also uses several well-placed, though somewhat paraphrased biblical references, which to many protestant, conservative readers, these examples may be greatly beneficial. Another point of reference is the included referencing pages, empty pages, which allow readers to jot down notes as they read various chaptered messages; though this is a well meaning addition to the text, perhaps having space allotted at the end of the text, would have a better fit. I also enjoyed reading the chapter devoted to giving, and the divine mandate of benefiting others, through monetary gifts, as a way of both absolution and as a means of community and fellowship; also noting is the authors cited examples as to the misunderstanding of giving. As well, my favorite section of the book detailed examples of financial planning through the life lessons of the Prophet Elijah.
However, I would like to state that I did not approve of the later sections of this book. The author directly dismisses the true need for charity, or any any Biblical scholar will quote, in matters of love, compassion, and empathy. The author is quoted as saying that, “God will bless all people who follow Him faithfully, just like Abraham;” this section of the text was seemingly flippant, dismissive, and did not guide the reader into any true financial advice to aid those truly perplexed by monetary hardship, including the elderly, veterans, the homeless, those with chronic diseases, the disenfranchised, the underpaid, those struggling with home foreclosures, student debt, medical bills, or the like. What was truly lacking in this section was an applied, hands-up approach to money management. The text suggests that many poor persons are simply unfaithful, a concept that is directly opposed to the teaching of Jesus Christ. Also, the author also states that tithing was the first key to home money management, a concept that is straightforward enough in its teaching, but for those who are living paycheck to paycheck, this concept could be more of a hindrance than a help; I believe that the section of thing should have been placed behind the other sections of the book, perhaps after a person is financially stable, and not struggling to survive.
What I struggled most with was a lack of real-life, solidified examples of financial empowerment. This book would be a great edition for perhaps a women’s group or a church-centered ministry, but from the perspective of a whole living blogger, this book will not be a financial saving grace for all.
For those still interested in obtaining a copy of this book, you can pick up a paperback version of this book from Amazon for only $17.87 here; though there are other editions from Dave Ramsey more affordably priced in the same genre as well.
With all of this said, the author has graciously given one lucky The Lady Prefers2Save reader a chance to win a copy of their own. To enter, simply check out the authors website, as listed above, and then leave a comment letting me know which approach mentioned you feel will help your personal finances the most. The giveaway will end 7/6/14 at 11:59pm CST. Good luck, everyone!