What an absolutely delightful book! There is a beautiful section at the end of the introduction, and it says: “… the gifts that matter cannot be given unless the giver is first generous. Generosity is the first step, the precondition, the necessary ingredient to all the other gifts, and for all those who would be givers.” If the book didn’t have my attention before then, it definitely grabbed onto it with that statement! The author tells us that the gifts that “produce happiness in their recipient, and therefore in the giver” are:
1. Encouragement – “doesn’t require sainthood or even near-sainthood, just an eye for accomplishment and/or effort and a willingness to remark upon it in a habitual, indiscriminate but truthful fashion.”
2. Energy – “… needs no definition. It’s the means to any end, and it can be given away in amazing amounts.”
3. Enthusiasm – is “exponential”.
4. Empathy – is “born out of experience… an action, not a feeling.”
5. Good Humor – isn’t something that’s learned – it’s a “choice”.
6. Graciousness – “The most enjoyable people are inevitably gracious folks.”
7. Gratitude – is “a habit” that requires practice.
Even writing those down, I can say with complete certainty that when people are met with someone who possesses even one of those “gifts”, it can make a huge difference! As I think about the people in my life who have made the biggest difference for me, they had many of those gifts. All the information about the types of gifts is only part one of this book though – there’s a second part too, and that’s all about the givers. There are seven of these as well (and they are all pretty self-explanatory):
1. The Spouse
2. The Parent
3. Family Members
5. The Coworker
7. The Church
At the end of this list, we see the author taking time to discuss “the Greatest Giver”, and this section was just as you’d expect – all about Jesus Christ, the One who gave the biggest gift of all.
I think this book would be wonderful for anyone who is looking at ways to think about life through a different lens, who is open to making changes, and to seeing what God will do in their life as a result. It would make a wonderful gift for someone else, or a great book for a small group study.
On a side note, I loved that the book was hardcover – so few books are nowadays. I also appreciated that the cover picture showed a pile of gifts, and I will have you know that I absolutely did count them. There were seven boxes. Just as it should have been.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review. I was in no way required to write anything positive – the thoughts and opinions expressed here are completely my own.