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The Giving Myths: Giving Then Getting the Life You've Always Wanted [Paperback]

By Stephen B. McSwain (Author)
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Item description for The Giving Myths: Giving Then Getting the Life You've Always Wanted by Stephen B. McSwain...

The American Dream goes like this: ?get all you can, save all you can, achieve all you can.? If you do, you'll be happy, healthy and enter your retirement years with peace and tranquility. The only problem with this: it's a myth. The life people really want is found not in getting but giving. In The Giving Myths, author Dr. Steve McSwain makes a compelling argument that your highest purpose in life is to give yourself away and generously share your abundance with the world. Any other way to self-actualization and personal fulfillment is a dead-end. Contrary to popular culture, the life you've always wanted isn't found in career choice, personal achievements, or even the amount of money you may amass in a lifetime. Instead, it's found in one of the simplest, yet most challenging, principles ever given by the greatest teacher who ever lived. Miss getting and living by this principle and you'll miss getting the life you've always wanted.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Smyth & Helwys Publishing
Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.96" Width: 6.52" Height: 0.68"
Weight:   0.91 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2007
Publisher   Smyth & Helwys Publishing
ISBN  1573124958  
ISBN13  9781573124959  

Availability  0 units.

More About Stephen B. McSwain

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Stewardship

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Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Giving Myths: Giving Then Getting the Life You've Always Wanted?

A journey of self-discovery  Nov 3, 2008
The Giving Myths is a well written treatise explaining the importance of giving of yourself, both monetarily and personally. With over 30 years of work in the fields of philanthropy and fundraising, as well as being Vice President of Cargill Associates, a national fund-raising firm serving non-profits and churches, the author, Dr. Steve McSwain, is well versed in this subject.

The Giving Myths begins with an overview of the author's life and how it led him to his views on giving of yourself to God. We learn that both his father and grandfather were ministers; although young McSwain's path was unclear until his teenage years, when he was influenced by a preacher who affected his life and convinced him to be a minister. Fast forward to adulthood where, although McSwain had his own ministry, he found that his life was not fulfilling. He admits to having lost his zeal for the Church and all it meant. McSwain explains how he stumbled and failed to understand God's plan for himself and argues that this is a common failing for all of us. Again and again, he shows how ego gets in the way of giving. We all have bills, and many are worried about paying for so many of life's necessities and luxuries. How can we give our money away?

As the chapters progress, McSwain comes to the realization that he must make adjustments to his life style in order to become a fully realized person who is content with his life. Deciding to choose another path for himself, McSwain became involved with raising funds for various churches. As he worked, he began to see that giving was as fulfilling to himself as it was to the various charities he and others contributed to.

McSwain explains the process by which he took on this self-examination, questioning his previous priorities that all seemed to stem from a place of selfishness. He learned that achieving happiness comes with giving what you have to others and that God will reward you with a more fulfilling life. Once you feel emboldened by that first reward, you will be inspired to continue the process. McSwain explains that this is doing just what the Almighty had in mind when we were given our `silver' talents. The silver talents (or coins) refer to a parable that illustrates what you give to God will be returned to you. The Bible tells of a man who gives money to three servants before he leaves on a trip. Upon his return, the master asks his servants what they did with their money. Two servants respond that they invested the money and increased its value. The third buried his coin for safekeeping. This servant received the wrath of his master for his folly. The author repeats this parable with the acknowledgement that he now finally understands it and also why the man who buried the talent had it given to the one who had the most. If you don't use what you are given, it will be given to someone who will use it as intended.

McSwain not only uses his discoveries of how to achieve happiness by giving, but uses a time honored method of witness stories. I found the use of parables as well as present day examples to be very effective in advancing his arguments. McSwain discusses the parable of the talents (mentioned in the paragraph above) and shows how they grow by giving much but tempers this with examples of those who have little or nothing. We are reminded of the `Widows Mite,' which is a story told by Jesus about all the people going to the temple to contribute money. Each person bragged about what they were giving and although they gave a lot, it made little difference in their daily lives. Enter the widow who gave a `mite' - about half a penny - which was all she had. Jesus explains that the widow was the one who would be blessed by God for giving all she had. McSwain then cleverly carries this analogy to the present day with a husband and wife with several children, a mortgage, car payments, and college tuition. They had nothing but each other and yet they still managed to give at first $20 a month and then $50. In another case, we read of somebody who gave their car to a person with greater need.

With a scientific background, I found the arguments presented in this book to be both logical and persuasive. It clearly shows why you should give your money, time, and talent to achieve true happiness. The author takes the reader along for a journey of self-discovery where he goes beyond the demands of personal ego and finds true happiness.

Quill says: Read with caution. It could change your life.
Read This Book!  Mar 4, 2008
I have 30 years of development experience, an MDiv degree, and seven years of stewardship work with parishes. This book is the best book about stewardship that I've read in a couple of decades. Maybe ever. I believe this book could change peoples' lives, and I am recommending it to every church group with whom I meet. At least two congregations are reading the book as part of a larger process of holistic change. Improvements in stewardship results require changes of heart within individuals. New methods of gathering in money and periodic surges in stewardship education may provide a measure of improvement in money and involvement for the church, but permanent change requires church members to view the world and their lives through different lenses. The Giving Myths can help people do just that.
Makes you think about your charity  Feb 1, 2008
Stephen McSwain makes a compelling case for the beneficial effects of giving rather than receiving. He argues that there is something essentially flawed with the modern-day ethic of material accumulation at all costs.

Very often an obsession with wealth-making leads to a closing off to the warm and generous facets of the human spirit. Riches are not commensurate to happiness.

The author examines whether such statements are true bringing up factual examples to illustrate his arguments. He then goes on to dispel some widely believed myths about the concept of charity.

By using clear and rational arguments, McSwain shows readers how it is not necessarily true that charity should be a private matter. He also explains how we can extend the scope and amount of our charity beyond the tithe system described in the Old Testament. There are helpful hints about overcoming the fear of giving and of finding out how much we can give and in which direction our charity should be channeled.

The final chapter explains the book's central thesis fully - It is in giving that we receive. By freeing ourselves from the shackles and wealth-centered lives, we can finally have the life we want - one that is richer and full of exciting possibilities.

Armchair Interviews says: Helpful way to look at charity and how giving benefits us.
Living the Good Life  Jan 23, 2008
Stephen B. McSwain makes a bold statement - that giving will lead to the life you've always wanted. Although many of us have been raised with the idea that we should be generous, most of us aren't giving nearly as much as we could. This book explores the giving myths many of us believe. Basing his opinions on years of working in church fundraising, McSwain explains why these myths persist, and why they're false beliefs.

Quoting several passages from the Bible, he shows how churches have misinterpreted the words of Jesus and the prophets in order to coerce their congregations into giving more. When guilt tactics fail, the churches turn to encouraging members to become involved to motivate them to generosity. Other topics include the standard of tithing, and equal and fair share giving. And some folks believe they simply can't afford to give.

But once McSwain debunks all of these myths, he reassures us that if we can look past the myths and give generously - to our church or spiritual center, and also to our favorite charities - God will grant us the life we've always wanted. While we may not be showered with material things, we will be given all we need, plus the peace of mind in knowing that we will always be provided for. And isn't that all we really need, anyway?

Reviewer: Alice Berger
Bergers Book Reviews

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