I recently had the joy of spending some time with David Green, the founder of the Hobby Lobby empire, who happens to be a devout believer and a very sweet man. I was talking to him and he has an amazing story. In the 1970’s, he was working in a little craft store in Oklahoma City and he decided he wanted to try his hand at opening his own business. He got a $600 loan and started a little craft shop out of his garage. Today, his chain has over 800 stores and he is worth close to eight billion dollars — he’s in the Forbes 500.
When I sit down with someone like David Green, I never want to miss an opportunity to find out the key to his success. Upon asking him what he thinks has been the primary source of his prosperity, his response was unhesitant and assured — generosity! He told me that being benevolent has kept his heart right and enabled him to take appropriate risks. Because he knows the source of his provision, he is able to branch out in faith with the understanding that God will take care of him, just like He always has. He added to that thought by sharing with me something that I will never forget. He told me that when he first read the Scripture in Malachi on tithing, he took it to heart, and he said to himself, “The Bible is either true or it isn’t, so believe it or throw it away.” Wow! What a statement! In fact, since he believed what the Bible said, at one point, he gave away all of his money and then he got it back again. By holding onto wealth loosely, he has seen the Lord do things that he never would have witnessed had he insisted on being in control!
Friend, God doesn’t ask you for money because He needs it, but because you need it! Though it always hurts, giving trains you and equips you with the understanding that everything you have was His first. When you keep your hands open and let go of your right to hold onto what you have, you gain much more than you ever gave away, and you build a legacy that will far outlive you. Isn’t that wonderful news?