by Brad Formsma
(WaterBrook Press, $14.99)
Reviewed by Chris Richcreek
Truth be told, as books go, “I Like Giving” might make you throw up. In a good way, if such a thing exists.
The reason is that author Brad Formsma and his family have become so attuned to giving, seemingly always looking to help others in ways both big and small, that it is just short of amazing, challenging and, yes, somewhat sickening.
The subtitle of the book is “The Transforming Power of a Generous Life.” And although the book is generally tailored toward Christians, the idea of giving is not religion-specific. In fact, social scientists Drs. Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton found in their research that asking people to spend money on others, be it through charity or by buying gifts for a family member or friend, makes them happier than spending the money on themselves.
In the book, Formsma stresses that giving doesn’t have to come in large monetary sums or involve a huge effort; in actuality, small actions also can lead to a more generous lifestyle. And it’s not age-specific — you don’t have to be an adult to enjoy the satisfaction of giving, which Formsma calls “a powerful force.”
And before you think Formsma and his family are on a giving mountain too high for mortal man to attain, take comfort in the fact that in the book he shares the inspirational stories of numerous other people who have given, have invested in the lives of others and been blessed by it.
As Formsma says, “[Giving] connects us to other people, brings us joy and increases our well-being.” And in a world that seems engulfed by self-centeredness, who couldn’t use more of that?
Even if it does make you a little nauseous at times.