If your boss offered you a big raise, can you think of a good reason to turn it down? Coach Tony Bennett, the University of Virginia men’s basketball coach, had the best reason of all: to bless other people.
In 2019, Coach Bennett’s team won their first NCAA Championship title in program history. As a reward, the university offered Bennett a substantial raise. Although he was grateful for the offer, Coach Bennett rejected it. “I have more than I need,” he said. “I’m blessed beyond what I deserve.”
Like any wise husband, Coach Bennett first consulted with his wife before deciding to turn down the money. Not only did they both agree that they had more than enough, they wondered how they might redirect the money in order to bless other people.
Their solution was to ask that the money offered to him be split between the coaches on his staff and used to fund other university athletic programs. They also donated $500,000 of their own money to a career-training initiative that benefited current and former UVA men’s basketball players.
I love that view of success. Strive. Achieve. Be excellent at what you do. Enjoy the fruit of your labor and the rewards that come from a job well done. Just remember that true success isn’t only about gaining wealth for ourselves. It’s about using our resources to benefit the people around us.
As noted theologian John Wesley so wisely observed, “Earn all you can. Save all you can. And give all you can.”