I Like Giving: The Transforming Power of a Generous Life by Brad Formsma is all about the joy experienced by those who give freely. When I agreed to review this book I was a little skeptical that I might be "guilt-tripped" into giving. Quite the opposite, the book is all about the personal satisfaction, even bliss, that can come from giving without expecting to receive in return. Giving in secret, giving to friends, giving to an ex-spouse (really!), giving to strangers, giving money, giving time, giving smiles - there are so many ways to give. Giving is good for the soul, which we all know in theory, but the book contains story after story of personal testimonials from people whose lives were transformed by giving to someone else, in big or small ways.
This book just might change the way you think about giving.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest review.
Brad Formsma is the creator of ilikegiving.com, a website viewed in more than 165 countries, which inspires people to live generously through its short films as well as a platform for all to share their experiences in giving. Brad and his wife, Laura, have three children and live in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Of course we all know that "it's better to give than to receive" and perhaps if you just knew that simple saying and lived by it - you would have no need for a book like this. And yet it possible that the reason why people don't know how wonderful "giving" can be is that they've just never truly done it. Sure, we all give birthday presents and gifts from time to time - but often times we do it with the unwritten understanding that those same people will one day remember our birthday as well.
But if we were truly people who "liked" giving_ then wouldn't we live as givers and never expect anything in return? Of course this also means that we don't get upset or hurt when we don't get anything in return either.
In other words, we become people who give_. purely for the joy of giving. There seems to be this notion that you have to be rich to be generous. We say things like, "If I made a little more money, I would love to help other people."
But if we truly felt that way_ wouldn't we help people now? The bottom line is we either love our money and ourselves_ or we love others and we want to help them.
Formsma's book is a wonderful collection of inspiring stories that is sure to give practical advice about being a generous and helpful person. It's not a long book either, the chapters are smoothly broken down and easily digestible.
While the book is sold as a Christian based, book and several times Brad alludes to his faith and the teachings of Christ, it never hits you over the head with an over extended use of Bible verses.
Thank you to Waterbook Multnomah for this preview copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Jesus said, "...It is more blessed to give than to receive." (Acts 20:35)
I recently read I Like Giving by Brad Formsma. It really made me think about giving, and ways that I can. In the book, there are so many heartfelt stories about simple ways that people gave to others, and how it impacted not only the other person's life but also their own.
I think my favorite story was about a woman who paid for another woman's nursing fees. It's about a girl who was just going to Walgreens for a quick trip to grab a prescription and some school supplies before going off to a coffee shop to study for her upcoming test. This test is the final test before you can be a registered nurse, and it costs $200 to take.
While at Walgreens, she found out that another girl didn't have the money for the test... "Without $200 to register for the NCLEX[the test], she'd be stuck working at Walgreens, paying off student loans, and struggling to make her rent. Without that test she'd never have a chance to do what she'd work so hard to do: care for other people in need. (page 110)" It touched me so much that she'd take time out of her day to withdraw $200 to pay for this other girl's test. That just doesn't happen every day.
There are so many good stories in this book. It was a fast read. I just couldn't put it down. It got to the point where my husband got jealous! What can I say? It's a great book.
It is Christian in essence, but they don't mention much about the Bible. They more allude to it than anything. That bothers me, as a Christian, but it wasn't a deal-breaker for me to make it a good book. Not every book has to be constantly quoting scripture for me to like it. I guess, I was really expecting some more scripture, but it didn't bother me too much after reading all the stories. Something for a Christian to remember about this book, is that you don't have to be saved to be giving. That's sometimes hard to swallow, but it's true. Do I want everyone to be saved? Of course. I don't want anyone to perish(John 3:16-18), but that didn't negate the good that the book. So, as a wrap-up of this thought, if you are expecting a devotional on giving... this isn't the book, but if you are expecting some practical ways to give with some really heartwarming stories, than this is the book for you. I hope that made sense!
All in all, I'd give this book a score of 4 out of 5. The 1 less point is due to the lack of scripture, but it's still a great read, and I'm happy to have it in my library.
FTC Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
I Like Giving by Brad Formsma is a book that focuses simply on the joy of giving. There is a lot on financial giving, but also plenty of stories about other forms of giving as well. He admits that his family do have the financial resources available to meet the needs of others, and I love how they look for opportunities. His family does have rules on how much to give without having a family discussion. Generosity is wonderful, but boundaries do need to be set. The stories of financial giving in the book vary from one person giving, a few friends giving, on up to someone creating a Facebook Event to help a fellow student who was struggling. Sometimes the act of allowing others to be a part of the giving effort is its own act of giving.
The stories are not strictly about money, but suggest other ways to make a difference. Through a series of small anecdotes entitled "I Like.......", we learn of opportunities people shared of giving time, a smile, a second chance, etc. Some required more sacrifice than others, but all agreed that it was worth any sacrifice made to make a difference in the life of someone else.
One of the ones that made me smile, and enforced the idea of training our children in the way they should live involved potty training. Not only was this 3 year old little boy in the habit of wasting food, but he was also in no hurry to be potty trained. When his mom explained to him about other people going hungry due to lack of food, he asked how they could help. His mom got creative and resourceful by suggesting that the money they spent on Pull-Ups could be used to help people who are hungry. He went on to have the pride of knowing he was in "big boy underwear", but that he was also helping others. A very large lesson for a small boy, but one that needs to be learned early.
Some of the stories may seem redundant, but I can't name one I would omit. Not only is this a book that makes you feel good as you rejoice with both the recipient and with the giver, but it is one that make spark ideas on ways you can make a difference. A quote by Henry Nouwen on the 'I Like Giving' website is, "Every time I take a step in the direction of generosity, I know I am moving from fear to love". I love the encouragement to give whatever it is you have to offer, and that this is not just about giving to the poor. People from all walks of life can use encouragement and your gift, no matter how great or small, can make a powerful impact on both the recipient's life and your own.
Thanks to Shelton Interactive for giving me the book at no cost for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review.
The Bible encourages giving. Luke 6 and other stories like the widow's mite confirms that concept and it also implies that you can't take it with you.
I started taking this approach about 10 years ago and, I can verify, giving can give you an emotional high. The book confirms this and gives some good examples which might lead some people who are not generous to start taking this approach.
I liked it so much that I donated it to the local library so that others can read it.