Book Review: Everybody, Always

Goff

 

“Someone once asked me what I would write if I only had six words for my autobiography.  Here’s what I came up with: What if we weren’t afraid anymore?  Throughout history, God has spoken three words more often than any others when the people He loved were scared and confused, lost or lonely, paralyzed or stuck.  In those times, He usually didn’t make a big speech.  He just said to his people, Be.Not.Afraid.” Bob Goff, Everybody, Always

A few years ago I read Love Does by Bob Goff and it totally rocked my world.  I blogged some thoughts on that book here.  Everyone talks about loving people, but Bob Goff challenges us to just do it…and have a BLAST doing it.  Does the way that you love people radically change the way they view the Lord?  When I heard rumblings that Bob was going to write a new book…I practically did a cartwheel!  I have enjoyed following Bob on social media and have listed to him speak several times.  His writing really captures some of the thoughts and feelings I have and pushes me out of my comfort zone in all kinds of really good ways.
Two weeks ago, I was walking up to faculty devotions with a dear friend that was going to be sharing with us.  Out of the blue, we started talking about our mutual appreciation for Bob Goff and his heart for the Lord.  We chatted about him all the way across the parking lot.  Then, this sweet friend used her platform in faculty devotions to encourage all of us and fill our cup for the last few weeks of school by reminding us of God’s faithfulness in millions of ways in our lives.  A few mornings later, this week friend came up to my office and brought me a precious gift…Bob’s new book Everybody, Always.  What a treat…even moreso because of this precious friend who wanted to encourage me!
I was in the middle of reading another book, but I stayed up super late that night to finish it so that I could dive into Everybody, Always the next day.  Yes, I realize people think I’m weird because of how much I like to read.  I can live with that :)
I highlighted several things while reading Everybody, Always simply because I have to be reminded over and over again what grace and love are really all about.  I have to preach the gospel to myself again each day to be reminded of what I have been given through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  I’ve typed up all the things I highlighted so that I can be reminded of what extravagant love really does look like.  I posted those notes below….
I hope you will read this book and then truly go love Everybody, Always.
  • I hope this book moves the needle in a way that reaffirms the power of extravagant love and excessive grace in your life and in the world. p. ix
  • Love isn’t something we fall into; love is someone we become. p. 2
  • God’s endgame has always been the same.  He wants our hearts to be His.  He wants us to love the people near us and love the people we’ve kept far away.  To do this, He wants us to live without fear.  We don’t need to use our opinions to mask our insecurities anymore.  Instead, God wants us to grow love in our hearts and then cultivate it by the acre in the world.  We’ll become in our lives what we do with our love.  Those who are becoming love don’t throw people off roos; they lower people through them instead. p. 4
  • If I’m only willing to love the people who are nice to me, the ones who see things the way I do, and avoid all the rest, it’s like reading every other page of the Bible and thinking I know what it says. p. 5
  • I’ve concluded we can be correct and not right. p. 7
  • Only Jesus has the power to change people, and it will be harder for them to see Jesus if their view of Him is blocked by our big opinions. p. 7
  • We need to love everybody, always. p. 9
  • Be. Not. Afraid.  These words have exactly as much power as we give them in our lives.  People who are becoming love experience the same uncertainties we all do.  They just stop letting fear call the shots. p. 17
  • Simply put, we can stop waiting for a plan and just go love everybody.  There’s no school to learn how to love your neighbor, just the house next door.  No one expects us to love them flawlessly, but we can love them fearlessly, furiously, and unreasonably. p. 19
  • We don’t think Jesus’ command to “love your neighbor” is a metaphor for something else.  We think it mean’s we’re supposed to actually love our neighbors.  Engage them.  Delight in them.  Throw a party for them.  When joy is a habit, love is a reflex. p. 21
  • God didn’t give us neighbors to be our projects; He surrounded us with them to be our teachers. p. 21
  • Instead of telling people what they want, we need to tell them who they are.  This works every time.  We’ll become in our lives whoever the people we love the most say we are. p. 31
  • Shame does that to us.  It makes us leave safe places.  It breaks the rhythms we’ve established with each other. p. 34
  • Find you way back to the people you’ve loved and who have loved you.  Figure out who you’ve broken your rhythm with.  Don’t let the misunderstanding decide your future. p. 36
  • People who are becoming love are with those who are hurting and help them get home. p. 45
  • Loving people means caring without an agenda.  As soon as we have an agenda, it’s not love anymore. p. 48
  • If we want to be like Jesus, here’s our simple and courageous job: Catch people on the bounce.  When they mess up, reach out to them with love and acceptance the way Jesus did.  When they hit hard, run to them with your arms wide open to hug them even harder.  God wants to be with them when they mess up, and He wants us to participate.  p. 57
  • People who are becoming love stop faking it about who they are and where they are in their lives and in their faith. p. 61
  • People who are becoming love keep it real about who they are right now, while living in constant anticipation about who God’s helping them become. p. 65
  • We should all have beautiful ambitions for our lives and who we might become, but we also need to sync it up so we’re not fooled into believing we’ve already arrived at a place in our faith we’ve only been thinking about going to someday. p. 65
  • Do you want to do something amazing for God/. Trade the appearance of being close with God for the power of actually being close to God. p. 67
  • 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
  • The promise of love and grace in our lives is this: Our worst day isn’t bad enough, and our best day isn’t good enough.  We’re invited because we’re loved, not because we earned it. p. 75
  • People who are becoming love understand God guides us into uncomfortable places because He knows most of us are too afraid to seek them out ourselves.  It happens to me all the time, and I usually only recognize in hindsight that the hard places I’ve navigated helped me steer a more purposeful course forward.  This has been God’s idea for us all along. p. 88
  • Jesus is the only one who can let us know the truth about ourselves and the truth about who He is. p. 111
  • When we draw a circle around the whole world like grace did and say everybody is in, God’s love gives us bigger identities than we used to have.  With our newer, bigger identities, we can draw even bigger arcs around people’s lives.  We start to see that our time here isn’t meant to be spent forming opinions about the people we meet.  It’s an opportunity to draw the kind of circles around them that grace has drawn around us, until everybody is on the inside. p. 113
  • Great love expressing itself in the world doesn’t need any arm waving; it’s always recognizable and leaves little doubt in the lives of the people it touches. p. 126
  • We all encounter difficulties.  It’s what we do next that defines us. p. 165
  • I meet people at Disneyland because where we meet shapes the discussions we’ll have. p. 181
  • Someone once asked me what I would write if I only had six words for my autobiography.  Here’s what I came up with: What if we weren’t afraid anymore?  Throughout history, God has spoken three words more often than any others when the people He loved were scared and confused, lost or lonely, paralyzed or stuck.  In those times, He usually didn’t make a big speech.  He just said to his people, Be.Not.Afraid. p. 185
  • Don’t put a toe in the water with your love; grab both knees and do a cannonball. p. 219

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