Photo: Taken at my Dad's House in July of 2016.
This article is the third part in a four part series of articles reviewing, The Legacy Journey by Dave Ramsey. Part 1 talked about chapters 1, 2 and 3 of the book. Part 2 talked about chapters 4 and 5. Part 3 talked about chapters 6 and 7. This article will talk about the last two chapters (8 and 9).
In chapter 8, Dave talks about the fact that we are all called to generosity. To begin the chapter, Dave reviews the importance of being generous and understanding that we don't own anything. The Lord owns all things and we must steward the money for the Lord. This does not mean hoarding all of our money. We must be generous and be willing to give our money to people in need.
Dave talks about how he thanks his employees every year with a huge Christmas party and at this party he gives all of his employees a huge gift. These gifts have ranged from a laptop to a shopping spree at Target. He mentioned that he could give his employees a smaller gift and keep more for the business, but he doesn't believe that is what is best for the business. By thanking his employees, he believes that they will be more willing to work harder for him, because they feel appreciated. He always talks about how his employees work hard. Not just hard, but extremely hard. He believes that stewarding to his employees will help steward to the rest of the country, because his business objective is to change lives through his financial teachings. So, stewarding to his staff is a way to steward his money to the rest of the country.
It's not just about giving, but its also about the importance of intentional giving. He mentioned that years ago, he would wait until December and do all of his charitable donations, at the end of the year without any thought or research. A friend of his told him that he was a horrible giver and needed to plan his giving. His friend used the example of Dave's business and his personal budget, explaining that Dave has always been very intentional in both of these areas and to be a good giver, then you need to give with the same purpose that you do with the rest of your life.
Since then, Dave no longer just gives to any charitable organization. His family foundation researches and donates money to organizations that match their religious ideals. Therefore, we must do the same. We can't give our money to just anyone, but to be good stewards of the Lord's money, then we need to be able to research and donate to organizations that match our ideals and our interests. Not all donations have to go to religious organizations. There are alumni associations at colleges, health research organizations, political campaigns and nature oriented organizations. The important thing is to research organizations, before you donate to them.
This chapter is a conclusion and a call to leaving a legacy to your kids. Dave starts the chapter by telling a personal story about his grandmother's grandfather or great great grandfather. The story talked about the life of his great great grandfather in the civil war and his life after the civil war of riding around to different cities preaching the Lord's message.
Later on when Dave's grandmother died, he tells a story of visiting his grandmother after her death and finding two special treasures in her house. Both of these treasures were bibles, one was his grandmother's and the other was his great great grandfather's bible. Being a Christian, he treasured these two items and he still has them today. He had heard of the stories of his great great grandfather and carries this bible around as a way to remember his great great grandfather's legacy of spreading the Lord's message. His great great grandfather left a legacy of christianity to his family.
What will your legacy be? What will your family remember your for? I have heard stories of my grandfather, and he left a legacy of hard work, hunting and fishing. My family has always been big hunters, fishers and hard workers. I never went hunting with my grandfather, but I will always remember the important times when I went fishing with him and my family. My grandfather is not here anymore, but he left a huge legacy to my grandmother. She has been able to live off of the money that they made together. They both were great financial stewards of God's money, and she still is today. I remember my grandfather because of fishing, but now I will also remember him as a great man who took care of his family and is still doing that today, even though he is in his grave.
Dave went on to mention that great motivational speakers talk about there being two numbers on your grave. These numbers are the year you were born and the year of your death. These numbers are separated by a dash. The dash is your life. What will you do with this life to leave a lasting legacy for your family? What can you do today, that will put you on a path of leaving that legacy for your family?