It’s Friday again which means that it is time for another book review, and this time it’s a slightly different type of book than many of the others I have read so far this year. This week I read The Legend of the Monk and the Merchant by Terry Felber.
This book is the fictional story of a man named Antonio who takes his grandson, Julio, on a trip to Rome to visit St. Peters Basilica. But he has more in store for the trip than just sight seeing. Antonio tells Julio the story of how he choose what to do with his life. He talks of his father Felipo, and how Felipo and his good friend Alessio choose to take different paths in life. One chose to become a monk and the other choose to become a merchant.
When Antonio was old enough he was faced with the choice of what to do with his life. Would he follow in the path of his father and become a monk, or in the path of Alessio and become a merchant?
Antonio tells Julio a story that illustrates how me made his decision, the path his life took, and 12 powerful lessons he learned along the way. Now that it is Julio’s turn to make a choice, Antonio hopes that his 12 principles will help Julio discover the path that God has planned for him.
The Legend of the Monk and the Merchant is one of my absolute favorite books. I first read it a few years ago, after hearing that it was required reading by Dave Ramsey for all his team members.
This little book has so many great lessons packed inside of it. I now re-read this book a few times per year, and every time I read it I learn something new.
The lessons that are taught in this book are foundational, but certainly not simple. They are lessons that require us to grow as people, with the promise that in turn they will help us grow in business.
Just like Antonio we are all presented with the decision to either become a monk or a merchant.
Many people think that they must choose to be in the business world, or to serve God. But Terry Felber challenges us to reconsider that viewpoint. In this book he shows that you can indeed be serving God with the work you do in the marketplace.
He highlights 12 principles for us to live by, and without giving them away I can say that each one of them is extremely important.
Each time I read this book I come away with something new, and this time there are 4 main lessons that really stuck with me.
4 Lessons I Learned From The Monk and the Merchant
- It takes hard work. It is tempting to believe that if God is for us we don’t really need to do anything, and that he will make things work out somehow. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes God is for us, but he will only bless the things that we take action on.
- Your finances are connected to your soul. Money is the most discussed topic in the Bible, being mentioned over 2,000 times. Most people think that the Bible says that money is evil, however that is not true. The Bible says, “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered away from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:10. Having money is not a problem, but loving money is. Our soul is powerfully connected with money, and can be influenced either positively or negativly by it.
- Problems have a greater purpose. Many times we look at problems as a curse, or a punishment. But what if they are the exact opposite? Problems help to develop us and prepare us for the blessings God has in store for us. Rather than dreading problems, it is important for us to look for the good in them, and try to figure out how they will help us in the future.
- What we do with our money is more important than the amount we have. Have you ever met a rich person who is greedy? Most likely. I bet you have also met a rich person who is extremely generous. In the same way, poor people can be either greedy or generous. If you want to have the right heart stance with your money you need to practice the things God asks us to practice. Be generous with your money, give to the poor, manage your money well (use a budget), and tithe.
These are just a few of the lessons that you will learn by reading this book. The 12 principles that this book introduces are so powerful. I have them written on a white board in my room and I read over them every single day. I believe that intentionally choosing to live by these principles will help lead to a successful life.
Here are some quotes that I pulled from the book as I read:
- “The truth is that many people are always ‘waiting to begin,’ but few ever actually get on the pathway to success.”
- “You see, God does want to bless us. But He will only bless what we actually put our hands to.”
- “God wants us to seek His guidance and then work hard.”
- “With this, we begin again.”
- “Many men have robbed themselves of their destiny because they have allowed discouragement to rob them of their dreams.”
- “God is the author of all that is good. He desires good things for us, not tragedy. But He always uses difficult times in our lives to prepare us for His greatness in us. Unless we struggle through trial, we will not become all He wants us to become.”