I Like Giving: The Transforming Power of a Generous Life by Brad Formsma
WaterBrook Press (February 18, 2014) 224 pages
My Rating: 4/5 stars
I was able to squeeze in an extra review this week! :D
At the end of last year, I read(and loved) Hospitality: In the Spirit of Love by Peggy Simpson, which is a wonderful little hidden gem in the world of books! This seemed like a great follow-up read. And, it was!
I Like Giving is filled with stories of people who have went beyond the ordinary ways of giving, and thought outside the box. While there's nothing wrong with the little ordinary ways of giving(!!!), there's SO much more that all of us could do to help someone in need. It was a great way to open my mind.
Jonathan will quickly tell you I'm the least trusting person out there. I'm OCD about locking doors. I dislike the dark. If we're driving down the road, and we see someone walking on the side of the road, I'm hitting the lock button on the door. That said, I still think that the world is generally full of hospitable people. I think more than not, we're people with good hearts. We WANT to help. For me, though, I struggle with talking myself out of things. I've witnessed this with others, so I know I'm not alone. I worry about someone thinking I'm "stupid" for doing this or that. I worry it won't be received well. And, really, I have some UNsuccessful stories I could share(but I won't). Rejection, in any form, hurts. So, I need constant encouragement in the area of hospitality.
This book covers all the bases with giving, though! It covers the rejections and the "bad" stories. It won't always be easy, and it encourages you to keep moving. It covers the instances of "failure" and/or being taken advantage of.
"The key in all these situations is to remember that giving to others is not only about how the receivers respond. Sometimes we need to give more than other people need to receive. Sometimes we are so wrapped up in our own little worlds of self-focused living that, even in giving, we can get caught up focusing on ourselves." (page 50)
It also covers being on the receiving end of hospitality.
When Grasshopper(5) was born, he was 3 months early. He was at a hospital about an hour away from our home. We were prepared to drive back and forth, but a local congregation took us right in. They provided us an apartment(rent free) just minutes away from the hospital. They paid the water and the power. (All for the 3 1/2 months he was in the NICU) Members of the congregation donated furnishings for the apartment. They even gave us a gift basket that included gift cards to some local restaurants. We were(and still are) AMAZED at the generosity shown to us(complete strangers!)! When we were first approached by the minister at this congregation we were a little hesitant to accept such a generous offer. He told us that people WANT to help! They enjoy it! BUT, we have to LET them. Sometimes it's harder to be on the receiving end, but it's just as important to accept hospitality given to us. I loved that this book touches on that very thing, too.
"Once you experience the joy of giving, you realize that other people feel the same way when they give to you. Receiving might be harder than giving, but if you think about the joy the givers are receiving when they give to you, that will help you open up to receiving. You know that refusing the gift would deny them that joy." (page 164)
My only complaint is that *to me* this book comes off a little "braggy" at times, and I struggled with it(because I am far-so very far-from perfect). Don't get me wrong! I'm not claiming anyone had less than honorable intentions, but I wish that all the stories had been done completely anonymously. (Matt. 6:1-4)
Overall, though, I found this to be a super quick and encouraging read! Although there's mention of Christianity and God, I wouldn't overly call this a Christian book. Of course, I would have preferred a little more focus on the Lord's hand in things, but it's one I think both Christians and Non-Christians can benefit from reading.
*Thanks to Shelton Interactive and Waterbrook Multnomah for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion!