Giftology by John Ruhlin is one of the best business books I have ever read. I may end up gifting this book on the power of gift giving more than any other book I have ever gifted. That was kind of a tongue twister, but you get the point!
This book was great. I am excited to put some of the practical gift giving tips proposed in this book to use. I am sure that I will be rereading Giftology many times just to remember all of the excellent ideas that Ruhlin proposes.
Here are my three takeaways from Giftology
1. Change the way you think about gift giving.
Ruhlin challenges readers to shift the way they think about giving. He rightly asserts that we often ask, “What is the least I can do without looking cheap?” Often this leads to throwing together a half-hearted Hallmark card and a $20 amazon gift card last minute.
We assume the old adage of “it’s the the thought that counts” is true, but Ruhlin flips this on its head by stating that it is “the thoughtful thought that counts.” Instead of trying to cut corners and do the least possible, we should ask ourselves, “what is the most I can do within my budget?”
I believe this changes everything! Instead of looking for the shortcuts with our generosity let’s be a people who are always looking to do the most for others.
2. Generosity is not about you.
This should be obvious, but like everything else if we are left to ourselves we make it about ourselves. Ruhlin gives two extreme examples about how we can make gift giving about ourselves if we are not careful.
The first is the all to familiar corporate gift. You know the kind of gifts you receive from companies? The shirts, hats, and just about every other kind of merchandise all with one thing in common; the companies logo obnoxiously plastered in the center of the product. This makes an otherwise decent gift nothing more than a shirt to paint in. I don’t want to wear a shirt with your metal recycling company logo prominently in view. I’m sorry but that is not a gift, that is branding for you! This is like buying a golf bag for someone else and engraving your name on the bag or buying a picture frame for someone and putting your picture in the frame. Don’t make gift giving about you. This is especially important for churches and companies who are proud of their logo. Give gifts that people will actually want to use and be proud of.
The other extreme Ruhlin presents is when we go overboard with gifts. He tells a hilarious and frightening story of his own marriage proposal. I won’t go into the details because I want you to read the book, but at the end of an extravagant marriage proposal gone wrong he realizes a valuable life lesson. Give gifts that your receiver will enjoy. He realized that he planned an amazing proposal because he liked surprises, his wife did and does not. Make sure you aren’t giving gifts to make yourself look good. A good gift isn’t one that just the giver enjoys, it must first and foremost be a gift that the receiver cherishes. “Gift giving isn’t about stepping into the limelight, it’s about shining a light on someone else.”
3. Every Christ follower should read and embrace the contents of this book.
As followers of Christ we should embrace this book. It is exactly the generous and thoughtful lives that I believe we are called to live. When I first picked this book up I assumed that it would be about using gifts to manipulate others. I was wrong, Ruhlin presents strategic gift giving as a way of life. He asserts that we should go above and beyond for those in our relational circle while expecting nothing in return and that sounds an awful lot like Jesus and what He calls His followers to be like.
The audio version is 2 hours and 9 minutes. It is read incredibly well with excellent production value.
The print version is 182 pages. The length of this book is great. It could even be a little longer as it leaves you wanting more. However, we are often pointed to the helpful Giftology book website full of helpful resources. This book contains no fluff and is definitely worth the time investment.
Buy or Pass?
Buy! This book is great for anyone in business or ministry. I believe that if you take the contents seriously you will be set a part from everyone else who only thinks of only themselves.
You can find out more about Giftology by John Ruhlin by visiting, http://giftologybook.com/