“The reason I have so much respect for the principles in the Bible is that they work, not sometimes, but every time,” Ron Travis writes. “I have attempted to incorporate Biblical principles into this book by putting everything to the test.” To help readers discover balance and abundance, Travis offers traditional Christian teaching on faith, personal life, family, relationships, finances, and stewardship along with a realistic and sympathetic look at the conditions of modern life. A Certified Public Accountant, Travis has served in the United States Army, worked for ten years as the CFO and senior vice president for two subsidiaries of Kane-Miller Corporation, and spent nineteen years as CFO and senior vice president of McWane, Inc. He is president of Travis Management Systems, and together with his wife, June, started the Travis Foundation to teach the goal-setting principles used in business to new couples.
Travis believes that it is impossible to experience an abundant life if one is failing in any area, but rather than an unrealistic striving for perfection, he suggests that readers seek to be in “the top five percent” in all life areas. The planning, discipline, dedicated work, and learning needed to achieve this goal will result in a balanced and abundant life. The author compiled this guide using notes accumulated over forty years of his own life experience and teaching; its principles are synergistic (the goals build upon each other so that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts) and balanced (the goals are congruent and complement each other).
Travis identifies himself as Southern Baptist, and his Bible-based approach will appeal to Christians with similar beliefs; others may find some of his suggestions unacceptable, for example, the use of corporal punishment (spanking) for children up to the age of twelve or thirteen. Readers may recognize business and military training in Travis’ methods and find that his views on the roles of men and women are those of an older generation, but they will still be engaged by his compassion and humor. Travis is aware that no matter how much one applies oneself to improving one’s life, failures and mistakes will occur, and when they do, he advises treating oneself with compassion, learning from the error, forgiving oneself (or others), and moving on. When necessary, Travis advocates the use of professional help, group support, and prescribed medications to stabilize diagnosed chemical imbalances.
On the whole, the author’s suggestions are well stated, timeless, and practical for Christians from the teen years to the last years of life. Helpful charts and bullet points clearly lay out the steps necessary to manage one’s goals and finances, and the thoughtfully chosen cover design is attractive. Travis is a teacher and mentor at heart, and does not hesitate to share his failings as well as his successes, thus modeling faith in God, patience, and courage in life’s inevitable trials.