When I saw David Green’s book, Giving It All Away . . . and Getting It All Back Again, I expected an epic tale of a billionaire who did exactly that—gave it all away. I hoped it would be more than a rags-to-riches story. I anticipated a story of David Green going from great riches as the founder of the retail giant, Hobby Lobby, moving to rags as he gave it all away, and then back to riches as he got it all back again.
Instead, I found the first half of the book discussing his lawsuit against the United States. He admitted that he had written most of the book before the lawsuit came up so he put the book on hold and added this information later, but it should have been a book of its own. The added content deviated from the message of the book (as intended).
While I’m on the subject of David Green’s lawsuit, I might comment how much he preached the need to obey governing authorities, to render unto Caesar by paying taxes, and to submit to governing authorities. Yet, he defied the government. I suppose he did so through the appropriate legal channels. What if he had lost? Would he have disobeyed? The Bible doesn’t say to obey the government only when you agree with it. No, Peter urged persecuted Christians to obey the governing authorities in the midst of unjust persecution.
Moving on, about halfway through the book, there was a chapter or two about how he gives away half of the profits of Hobby Lobby: “The more this business gives, the more God blesses us to keep giving.” For a brief time, the content seemed to fit the title of the book.
Then he spent the last third of the book discussing in minute detail how he intends to distribute his wealth after he’s gone. This seemed so unnecessary because almost no one is in the position to have that kind of wealth. I don’t know why he felt he had to describe the intimate details of what his family will do with his wealth. It felt wrong to be reading this and a little eerie or bizarre.
This book was disappointing, but it did contain a few worthwhile nuggets of truth in a couple chapters on generosity.
David Greene with Bill High
Preview Giving It All Away