The Legend of the Monk and the Merchant is written by Terry Felber and this version of the book has a foreword by Dave Ramsey. The book is a short, fictional story portrayed as a grandfather tells his grandson about his life as a merchant. The grandfather was adopted by monks but grew into his passion of business and enterprise. The story takes place in Italy and develops on twelve key points to remember on money, business, life and faith in God. The story believes in Jesus Christ as King and cites its biblical sources on its’ claims on wealth. At the end of the book there are multiple discussion chapters that individuals or groups can reflect on the twelve key points. Three takeaways stood out to me while reading that I wanted to share.
Be meek before God but bold before men
This is a great principle for everyone to follow. God is great, God is good. He has provided for us all and we do not deserve His kindness. Our choices are our own. We should not fear man, however God is worthy of fear, reverence and praise. What does this have to do with money? Our money is a gift from the work we do, given by God. We should be responsible (humble) with our gifts and not let them go to waste.
Matthew 5:5 says “Blessed are the meek! For they will inherit the Land!” Another translation reads “Blessed are the humble, for they will inherit the earth”. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the earth”. The orthodox Jewish translation relates this passage to Isaiah 29:19 “The humble will again rejoice in Adonai (God) and the poor exult in the Holy One of Israel”. Also Psalms 37:11 “But the humble will inherit the land and will enjoy abundant prosperity”.
When you read meek, do not think weak. Think humble. You should respect and be humble before God but bold before men. As an adult, I should also provide for my family.
A man must do whatever he can do to provide for his family
According to 1st Timothy 5:8, if a man does not provide for his own family, he denies his faith and is worse than an unbeliever. For all Christians, you are called to provide for those who are in need and cannot provide for themselves. If you cannot provide for your own family, man or woman, how are you going to give to those in need? Lastly, if you work hard, God will prosper you.
Work hard and God will prosper you
Most everybody has ideas, however few act and commit to their dreams. Look at the wide range of self-help books available. Everyone has an opinion on how to do something better. But who really commits and turns it into an enterprise that solves people’s problems?
Deuteronomy 28:12-13 says “The Lord will open for you his abundant storehouse, the sky, to give your land rain in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow. The Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you will only move upward and never downward if you listen to the Lord your God’s commands I am giving you today and are careful to follow them.”
Do not waste your gifts, use them to bless others. Work hard and you will receive blessings. People do not become millionaires or billionaires, or leave inheritances for their kids, without hard work.
The Legend of the Monk and the Merchant Summary
What is most enjoyable about this book is that the biblical sources are referenced at the end. You are encouraged to do your own research and discuss the topics. Critical thinking is not dead. If there was one complaint it’s that the monk is misleading in the title. The story is all about the merchant and his growth. It would be more accurate to name the book the apprentice and the merchant. Still a highly recommended, short read. The book has twelve total key points, I encourage you to pick it up and digest for yourself.
Check out my previous blog post Review of Everyday Millionaires.
You can find yourself a copy of The Legend of the Monk and the Merchant here.
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Thought I would share some photos from Italy when I went there.