I love different perspectives on things. I’m always trying to provide a different perspective on finance because it makes things interesting and it makes learning easier, at least for me.
A few months back, I picked up this book Weird by Craig Groeschel on a whim, and I’m very happy that I did. This might seem simple, but the book caught my eye because of the color and the bold slanted title that is written vertically.
The books cover looked… weird! I like weird because to me, weird means different. Weird is a Christian lifestyle book that takes many of the everyday occurrences in life and turns it on its head.
The book covers God, Love, Money, Time, and Intimacy. This book makes you look at you worldview and re-evaluate it.
Weird, Raw Honesty
What I appreciate about this book is that even though Craig Groeschel is a pastor of what the world would consider a successful church, he isn’t afraid to use himself as a brutally honest example such as the embarrassing story he shares about his parking lot road rage. It is a great reminder of how none of us, even popular pastors, are close to perfect.
He is even willing to tackle more taboo topics such as technology’s effect on relationships, and even about giving your children (when you’re ready) “the talk.” It was really refreshing to read a book that didn’t avoid discussing the elephants (the many, many elephants) in the room.
What Does This Have To Do With Finance?
I figured I should mention this, as I know someone will ask. I have relatively unorthodox views on finance, in some respects. One of my ideologies is that I don’t believe you can truly separate lifestyle from finances without providing an inadequate portrait. Lifestyle has as much to do with finance, if not more, as investing and earning income. Lifestyle determines your views on money, and how you spend it. Now onto the finance subjects.
There has been a concept that I’ve described for a long time, but never defined, and Weird defined it for me: comparative wealth. The concept is that people only feel rich, if they are richer than the people they know. This helps to account for why most millionaires don’t consider themselves rich even though most paycheck-to-paycheck people think they are loaded.
This concept seems ordinary until I tell you that you are most likely considered wealthy yourself. The average American is in the top 5% of all income earners in the world. So, while you feel like a normal person with your 1 car in a garage, there is another person out there pondering the concept of putting your car into its own house (your garage) when they are living in a car, or a thatched roof hut.
This isn’t to make you feel guilty for what you do have, it is simply to explain the concept of comparative wealth, and make you ask yourself the question “at what point will I or should I be happy?” Most people will never be happy with the amount of money they have.
Weird does a great job of discussing the topics of Biblical money management. Most people tend to skip over the verses about rich people and what they should do with money because we don’t consider ourselves rich. But, by informing us that we are in the op 5% of all income earners, we now have no grounds to dismiss those verses and every reason to read them and consider them.
Weird will be an uncomfortable read for most people because it challenges your beliefs and philosophies on finance, and lifestyle. It forces you to recognize that you are truly blessed and well-off even if you don’t think you are. This is an awesome book, and I highly recommend it.