I recently finished reading Bob Goff’s book, Everybody Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People. What a great book! The book is composed of stories with lessons about what it looks like to love other like Jesus does.
I have been reminded recently how I want to be focused on walking closely with Jesus and trying to be Jesus to everyone I come in contact with. I do not have to live in fear with a “bunker” us vs. them mentality or make sure I have a checklist handy to make sure others believe exactly as I do. My job as a disciple of Jesus is to allow Jesus to make me more like Him and also to love others with His great love. I can verbally share with others about Jesus, but only God can do the transforming work needed in people’s hearts. I want to be patient, kind, graceful with others. The love of Jesus is not careful and without risk. It is extravagant and sometimes even dangerous. God has used other people in my life to show me His love, which has changed me. I can hardly believe that God wants to use me (in spite of my own imperfections) to be His ambassador of life-changing love to others. I do not want to be found waiting in the bleachers, but I want to get busy with this adventure.
Here are some quotes from this book which I was impacted by:
- “He wants our hearts, not our help.” (p. 72)
- “It’s not about us anymore; it’s about Him. (p. 73)
- “People who are turning into love don’t need all the spin, because they aren’t looking for applause or validation from others any longer. They’ve experienced giving away God’s love as its own reward. They also don’t need to write ‘Jesus’ as the return address of every loving thing they’ve done.” (p. 73)
- “People who are becoming love talk a lot more about what God’s doing than what they’re doing because they’ve stopped keeping score.” (p. 74)
- “We don’t need to send the archers to the tower to protect baby Jesus every time someone hits a wrong note. Read the book of Revelation. He’s out of the crib. Should we have a firm grip on doctrine and know what the Bible speaks to the world? You bet. Keep this in mind, though: loving people the way Jesus did is always great theology.” (p. 83)
- “Playing it safe doesn’t move us forward or help us grow; it just finds us where we are and leaves us in the same condition it found us in. God wants something different for us. His goal is never that we’ll come back the same. He’s hoping we’ll return more dependent on Him. I’m not saying everything needs to be risky in our lives, but we’d be well served if a few more things were riskier in our faith. Loving people we don’t understand or agree with is just the kind of beautiful, counterintuitive, risky stuff people who are becoming love do.” (p. 87)
- “We don’t decide who in line is in and who’s out, and we don’t need to waste any more time engaging in the kinds of arguments some people get sucked into.” (p. 113)
- “I’ve met a lot of people who say they’re waiting for God to give them a “plan” for their lives. They talk about this “plan” like it’s a treasure map God has folded up in His back pocket. Only pirates have those. People who want a reason to delay often wait for plans. People who are becoming love don’t.” (p. 145)
- “But here’s what’s changing in me: I don’t want what’s fair anymore. I want to be like Jesus. It’s a distinction worth making.” (p.150)
- “It’s taken some time, but I’m starting to act like my purpose is to love God and to love the people around me the way Jesus loved the people around Him. As much as I’d like to make it more complicated and have more steps so I can find some cover for my inaction, it’s really that simple.” (p. 165)
- “Loving people the way Jesus did means being constantly misunderstood. People who are becoming love don’t care. They will do whatever it takes to reach whoever is hurting.” (p. 216)
- “Don’t just love the people who are easy to love; go love the difficult ones. If you do this, Jesus said you’d move forward on your journey toward being more like Him. Equally important, as you practice loving everybody, always, what will happen along the way is you’ll no longer be who you used to be. God will turn you into love.” (p.219)