Passing down a legacy of generosity

06 May

Book Review: Giving It All Away … And Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously, by David Green with Bill High

David Green, the founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby, believes that the rule of generosity, the rule of giving, is the foundation for building a lasting legacy. In the early part of the book, he explains the concept of legacy.

Leaving a legacy is about succession—those who follow after us… “When all is said done, your ability as a leader will not be judged by what you achieved personally … You will be judged by how well the generation behind you did after you were gone. Your lasting value will be measured by succession.”

Later in the book, he explores the meaning of generosity.

My journey into generosity has shown me two important thing, among others. First, generosity has a starting point. You don’t just wake up one day and poof, you’re generous. It begins with a decision to steward your resources with a heavenly mindset. Second, generosity depends not on how much money we have but on the posture of our hearts. Too often we think of generosity as the sharing and giving of money. But that’s a shallow definition. Generosity goes much deeper.

Part of the book is a memoir where Green talks about lessons instilled in him by his parents. He also describes what the family experienced when they sued the US Government over Obamacare and the case went all the way to SCOTUS, the US Supreme Court. The rest of the book explains how David and the Green family developed their convictions and commitments towards generosity and how it impacts their business, Hobby Lobby. He also describes their approach to wealth management and passing on wealth to children and grandchildren.

In the final chapter, he lays out the family’s basic ideas regarding wealth, business, and generosity.

  • We are not owners of anything. God owns everything.
  • God wants us to be good stewards of everything he’s put into our hands.
  • We all have wealth—our intellectual capital, our social capital, our emotional capital, our spiritual capital, and our financial capital.
  • Stewardship produces responsibility: as stewards, we need to be found faithful.
  • The great joy of stewardship is generosity: giving it away because we get it all back again in the form of joy.

While the book is very simple, straightforward, and easy to read, it will stretch your thinking on the subject of generosity and passing wealth on to the next generation.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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Posted by on May 6, 2017 in Books, Finances, Legacy, Ministry


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