I have read a lot of material on the subjects of Christian stewardship and general money management. While most have been helpful, none of the resources I've looked at so far have satisfactorily provided as comprehensive a treatment (both theologically and practically) of this important topic as Randy Alcorn's Money, Possessions, and Eternity.
How a person views matters of ownership, wealth, giving, saving, investing, debt, and other related matters all comes down to how they view life. More specifically, it comes down to how a person views life in relation to eternity. Either this life is all there is, and so we are all free to spend it in whatever ways make us happy, or this life is the prelude to something greater, which means we should spend our lives with an appropriate concern and long-term perspective for what follows. Alcorn writes,
"The key to a right use of money and possessions is a right perspective - an eternal perspective. Each of our lives is positioned like a bow, drawn across the strings of a cosmic violin, producing vibrations that resound for all eternity. The slightest action of the bow produces a sound, a sound that is never lost. What I do today has tremendous bearing on eternity...The everyday choices I make regarding money and possessions are of eternal consequence."
I am still learning how to best apply this "eternal perspective" in life, but the influence of the basic theological motivations and practical disciplines promoted in this book has already been tremendous.
Book Description"What does the Bible really say about money? This completely revised and updated version of the classic best-seller provides a Christian perspective about money and material possessions based on the author's painstaking study of the Bible. Randy Alcorn uses the Scriptures to approach this often touchy subject head-on. Thought-provoking arguments challenge readers to rethink their attitudes and use their God-given resources in ways that will have an eternal impact. Alcorn deals straightforwardly with issues of materialism, stewardship, prosperity theology, debt, and more."