BOOK REVIEW: Simply Generous

Simply Generous, by Stewardship, is a collection of stories of lives shaped by radical generosity, to encourage readers to live a lifestyle of generosity themselves. Stewardship is a charity that inspires and facilitates Christian giving throughout the world. The introduction of Simply Generous states: ‘Generosity is something that can – and should – be taught. Not that we’re trying to make it complicated, academic or abstract. Far from it. We want to remind people of how powerful it is, how innate, and how simple.’

Freely you have received; freely give

The book begins by laying out the biblical basis for generosity. ‘The Trinity itself – Father, Son and Spirit – is a perfect picture of generosity.’ The members of the Trinity live in a constant cycle of giving everything to one another. They invite us to participate in that cycle, receiving from God and giving to others. Simply Generous makes it clear that we give because God first gave to us and that it is a joy to participate in this giving.

The book goes on to show how Jesus embodied generosity in His life and ministry, constantly giving to others, as well as allowing others the joy of giving to Him. It draws from Jesus’ teaching to illustrate the fact that being generous is an active choice, and one that we can consistently turn our backs on if we aren’t deliberate about it.

Give abundantly

The bulk of the book is a collection of nine stories of people whose lives have been shaped and transformed by generosity. From a ‘prodigal son’ who came to faith and gave up everything to work for a charity after his parents welcomed him back, to an older couple who have faithfully spent their whole lives planning out their regular giving. The book gives us a wide range of examples of what it can mean to be generous and concludes each story by drawing lessons about generosity and asking questions about our own lives. One of the most important points is the fact that generosity is not just about money, but it is also about how we can give our time, resources, and talents.

Counting the cost

Whilst Simply Generous inspires the reader to live more generously, more can be said about not just giving abundantly but giving wisely. This book can at time oversimplify the decision-making involved in generosity, whether our time, resources, or talents, when saying yes to every opportunity to be generous can lead to stress and burn-out.

Though there could be more about wise giving, this book is fantastic at inspiring abundant giving. it challenges you to see how generosity is at the heart of the Christian life and prompts the reader to consider planning how they may wish to live out that generosity in their own life.

If you would like to talk to us about how you can get hold of this book or other resources to support mission in the Arab world, contact Maria. Or if you’re inspired to support the spreading of the gospel in the Arab world financially, click here.

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