DAVID GREEN: The Way of Living Generously
GIVING IT ALL AWAY … AND GETTING IT ALL BACK AGAIN
GIVING IT ALL AWAY ... AND GETTING IT ALL BACK AGAIN
What could the 234th richest multimillionaire in the world, with a fortune worth over six billion dollars, teach us about how to live generously? Maybe a 2012 article from Forbes magazine may help us understand this better when it states, “David Green insists God is the true owner of his $3 billion arts and crafts chain.”
Green carries out his life according to the biblical precepts, applying them in his entrepreneurial life, and that is the experience of almost fifty years that the wanted to share in this book with a rather long title – Giving It All Away… and Getting It All Back Again – along with a cascade of examples used here. From his start with six hundred dollar loan, making small frames in his kitchen with his kids for seven cents apiece, to the application of his “partnership” with God in his daily decision-making, turning each situation into an opportunity to give, enjoying the value of getting it all back again.
But it’s not just about the challenges related to daily business management that are addressed here, but also his social intervention, as it was in the famous case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, that made it all the way to the US Supreme Court, when the federal government ordered businesses to supply contraceptives for their female employees, which went against the religious convictions of the Green family. The daily fine equivalent to more than $1 million USD did not intimidate them, even if losing the lawsuit meant the end of the company and the firing of 32,000 people, and they moved into a court battle that ended in 2014, with Green winning the case.
The book reflects on a number of lessons David learned, on his tangible legacy, but above all on his intangible legacy, which life has allowed him to enjoy; not by seeking earthly wealth but divine grace. The son of a pastor, David soon absorbed the generous character personified in his parents’ lives, as they always had something to share despite their lack of financial resources.
Throughout his extensive entrepreneurial and philanthropic life, David has continued to be involved in projects that have significant impact on society, even though he remains attached to his decoration empire. Green appeals, “we need a sense of urgency about God’s priorities for the resources we’ve been given.” The Green family has not only ensured a sustainable financial legacy, as they also follow the biblical guidelines to bless others, contributing to spread the Word of God to all people.
In this spirit, several enterprises were born whose family legacy, if not expressive, bears a singular span, as their cooperative support of Every Tribe Every Nation, which seeks to accelerate and coordinate the different Bible translations, thus implementing a pattern system of digital content development, founded upon a credible digital biblical library. YouVersion’s Bible App (see the previous Biblion issue) benefits tremendously of this array of initiatives by hosting the largest digital bookshelf of Bible’s versions and translations.
Another great endeavor developed by the Green family is the groundbreaking Museum of the Bible (also in Biblion #5), which opens to the public in November, and comprise the largest collection of Bibles in the world, with the purpose of sharing the narrative, the story and the impact of the Bible.