That Man Who Said Some Hard (but Good) Things to Me
Lucinda Secrest McDowell
When I came to the end of this book two surprising things happened:
- I started weeping.
- The author informed me this was really an intervention and that everyone I know had been calling him and asking him to break some news to me:
“You can no longer continue to be the person you’ve been! What are you going to let go of? Who have you been playing it safe with, while politely keeping your distance? Who has been mean or rude or flat wrong or creeps you out? Don’t tell them all your opinion, give them all your love. I know it’s hard for you. It’s hard for me too. Even when we feel like we can’t muster the strength and humility to love our enemies, the truth is we can…. It will be messy. Sometimes ugly messy. You’ll also be misunderstood – you might not even understand yourself anymore. You’ll grow. 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.” (Bob Goff, Everybody Always)
And I came to the end of this book Everybody Always in a very short time because I simply could not put it down!
Bob Goff is a courageous man and a consummate Storyteller. I won’t give away any of the stories because I want you to read every single one – about the TSA guy, all the prisoners who phone him collect (and he always answers), the little boy Charlie, and the witch doctors…oh the Witch Doctors! Honey, you have a treasure trove of Amazing Stories ahead.
But not just for entertainment’s sake — to flesh out what it means be love, like Jesus. Do you wish we Christ followers had a better reputation for loving in the world? Me too. Reading this book might just be a launching pad for that to begin to happen. In our one life.
Here are some questions I am asking myself this summer:
How do I view those who are difficult, different and demanding?
“God doesn’t see people the way I do. The ones I see as problems, God sees as sons and daughters, made in His image. The ones I see as difficult, He sees as delightfully different. The fact is, what skews my view of people who are sometimes hard to be around is that God is working on different things in their lives than He is working on in mine… I think He wants us to see things the way He does, and it’s not going to happen from the top floor of our castles. It will happen at the ground level of grace.” (Bob Goff, Everybody Always)
Do I tell people what to do or encourage them in who they are becoming?
“Telling people what they should want turns us into a bunch of sheriffs. People who are becoming love lose the badge and give away grace instead. Tell the people you meet who they’re becoming, and trust that God will help people find their way toward beautiful things in their lives without you.” (Bob Goff, Everybody Always)
What’s holding me back – wondering what others will think?
Bob’s Life in Six Words – What if we weren’t afraid anymore?
How can you and I help change a world that is full of division, despair, distrust, and danger?
“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 roofs, they lower people through them instead.” (Bob Goff, Everybody Always)
How can I flesh out my own true purpose in life?
“People will figure out what we really believe by seeing what we actually do. Everybody has a plan, but God is looking for people who know their purpose. 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. To pull this off, I need to do it with an unreasonable amount of patience and kindness and understanding. “ (Bob Goff, Everybody Always)
Last February I had the privilege of meeting Bob Goff when we both spoke at the VNE GO Conference in Boston. Although I don’t really know him personally, I thank God for his presence in our world today. Like you and me, he is simply being an instrument in the hand of God. To share love, acceptance, understanding, grace and mercy. That’s all.
under the mercy, Lucinda
“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity and Strength”
©2018 Lucinda Secrest McDowell http://www.EncouragingWords.net
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