Brad Formsma has hit a home run with his delightful book "I Like Giving: the Transforming Power of a Generous Life. Practical Ideas, Inspiring Stories" (WaterBrook Press, 2014.) And by the way, you may want to have some tissues ready as you settle down with this book. Some of the â€˜inspiring stories' just may inspire you to cry.
If you've spent much time in church, you've probably heard that God loves a cheerful giver. Of course that was usually said right before the ushers passed through with the collection plate. And there's no doubt that He does. Formsma takes that a bit further, and tells what cheerful giving might look like outside of the Sunday morning worship service.
The reader is reminded that Jesus once said that it is more blessed to give than to receive, and goes on to tell any number of ways that people demonstrate that principle of being blessed through their generosity. (Counter-intuitive, yes, but it works.) In this book are lessons on the joy of giving, the joy of generosity, and demonstration after demonstration of what happens when we turn "I have to give" into "I get to give." It might be a big gift, but it doesn't have to be: simple gifts bring blessings too, to the giver and the person to whom it is given.
This is not another spin on prosperity gospel, there are no promises or implications that if you send a check today, that you'll be rich by this time next week. Unless of course you count happiness and joy as riches and wealth.
The stories have funny titles like "I like Bike" or "I like "Pay Phones" and the title clues the reader in on what is involved in this giving experience. IT's amazing how people from around the country have chimed in with their stories to make this book possible.
But it's not just warm fuzzies, Formsma gives tips on how to give, how to live a life a generosity, why we give, and why we enjoy (for those who do) giving. There are clues about why giving is difficult at times, and along the way I was reminded that sometimes it's hard for me to be on the receiving end, which in turn reminds me that sometimes giving needs to be done in a way that doesn't embarrass the recipient, and that even though the end result might be that I feel the joy that God wants all of us to experience, the giving experience is not always supposed to be about making me feel good.
I read a lot for work, for school and for pleasure. This is one of the most enjoyable books I've read in a long time. I'm sure I'll go back to it again and again. I'll buy a couple of extra copies to give to friends. And my giving story - whatever it's called - will start with "I Like Books_"
I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. There is no requirement to write a positive review.
The only reason for giving this book 5 stars on a scale of 1 to 5 is that there is no 6.
This is a great book on giving which encourages Christians to give generously and in very practical ways. The author shares a number of personal stories which illustrates this generosity movement. I found the book both challenging and encouraging. The author points to Scripture as well as research which indicates that those who give are happier than others. Other principles are outlined in the book such as lowering your expectations when you may not get the response to your giving that you anticipated. I think this is an important book to read as well as live out. I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.
The book I Like Giving (releasing on Feb. 18/14) is written by Brad Formsma, the creator of ilikegiving.com.
I Like Giving is a very personal and human look at generosity. The book is made up of numerous stories from people who stepped out to participate in various compassionate and creative acts of generosity. What I appreciate about this look at generosity is that it isn't solely focused on financial generosity. The sky is the limit on how we can be generous and give in powerful ways to those around us.
Although the book talks at length about the beauty of giving, it doesn't romanticize it, and instead honestly addresses the challenges that can accompany giving. Sometimes being generous is awkward and sometimes people will reject our generosity, but that shouldn't stop us from being generous people. Another aspect of giving that the book does a great job at unpacking is being good at receiving. Often times we are great at giving but we are poor at being the recipient of someone else's generosity. This was a great reminder about allowing others to receive the blessing of giving by being good at receiving.
On top of the great content in the book, it is also a very attractive book and is laid out in a really interesting way.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes:
"When we choose to give, we change, and the people around us change. When we move from awareness to action, miracles happen" (p. 6).
"Sometimes we need to give more than other people need to receive" (p. 50).
"_my compassion can't be directed by other people's decisions" (p. 88).
"_the lines between giving and receiving disappear. You might see yourself as a giver in one situation but realize that the blessing you receive from giving is so great that you are really the receiver" (p. 172-173).
I would definitely recommend this book as a practical and inspirational look at generosity.
Check out ilikegiving.com for more information, short films, stories and more. You can also follow this movement on Facebook and on Twitter (@ilikegiving).
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.