DISCOVER A SECRETLY INCREDIBLE LIFE IN AN ORDINARY WORLD
BY BOB GOFF
My beautiful cousin Hilary sent me the book Love Does. To be honest, I do not know when she sent it. I put it on my bookshelf and then kind of forgot about it. It wasn’t until I was talking to Hilary and her brother, Matthew, that Love Does was mentioned. At first, I denied even having the book (oops). After a quick check, I found it, then apologized. It wasn’t long after that I started reading it. It always amazes me how I pick up books just at the right moment that I am supposed to. I don’t think I was ready to read the book when it was first sent to me, but now this was the right time. I’m glad and grateful I did because it changed my life.
One of the first things that caught my attention was Goff’s silliness and lightheartedness. Don’t get me wrong the book was impactful and meaningful, yet it had this humorous and light feel. It showed me that as a Christian, I don’t have to be so serious. I’m still learning and growing in my walk with Jesus, but I found it comforting that I can still be my silly self.
Love Does showed me that love is an action. It’s not just a word, but a movement. There are so many ways to love. Goff talked about his friend Doug that he admired and how he lived his life with an adventurous and loving attitude. This friend shared Jesus with Goff. Goff states, “Like Doug, Jesus wasn’t a religious guy… He helped people. He figured out what they really needed and tried to point them toward that. He healed people who were hurting. He spent time with the kinds of people most of us spend our lives avoiding… He was all about engagement… That’s one of the things I saw in Doug… I liked that Doug could be friends with Jesus and still shoot pellet guns. I didn’t think that was allowed, but apparently, it was.”
Reading that was so freeing for me! Some Christians are so focused on rules and religious aspects that they miss the whole point. Sometimes I’m guilty of that as well. I’ll think, “oh you have to do this that way, or you can’t do it like that, people might judge you for it, etc.” At the end of the day, God knows my heart.
While reading Love Does I also learned the power of asking for things and saying yes more. Goff shared a cute story about a guy named Ryan who was essentially a stranger. Ryan randomly asked Goff if he could use his backyard to propose to his girlfriend that he was madly in love with. Goff was surprised but said yes. Ryan then asked for more things and in return, Goff said yes to more things. As a result, it turned out to be an extravagant night for everyone involved! If I am being honest, I don’t always ask for the things that I need. Sometimes there’s fear or self-judgment involved, but if I focus on the love of God like Ryan loved his girlfriend, then I dare to ask for things above and beyond! It’s a practice for me, but I’m getting better. In Love Does there are many examples of bold faith and how things can change, just by saying yes, shifting your perspective, and exuding love that Jesus so freely gives us.
Goff spoke about his friend Don who was dying from cancer. As I was reading this chapter I was on a plane to Florida. During this flight, I was extremely paranoid and full of fear. My head was circling with negative thoughts of plane crashes and severe scenarios. However, something shifted in me after reading this chapter. “God is good, all the time. God is good.” Even if the plane crashed, God was good, even if (fill in the blank) __ happens God is good! Not just sometimes, always. I’m here today, sober and healthy. God is good, when I go, God will still be good. I believe in heaven and seeing my loved ones again. Knowing that, what could I fear?
Lastly, I am guilty of judging myself as a “bad Christian” because I don’t have a bunch of scripture verses memorized. In my justification, I do have a terrible memory problem. I am aware that God’s words are my defense, strength, and daily bread. With that being said, Jesus doesn’t want perfect people to just memorize scripture. He wants people to LIVE scripture! The best way we can do that, that I can do that, is by loving my neighbor. Instead of having a Bible study with his guy friends, Goff calls it “Bible doing.” “At our Bible doing, we read what God has to say and then focus all our attention on what we are going to do about it. Just agreeing isn’t enough. I can’t think of a single time where Jesus asked His friends to just agree with him.” That absolutely blew my mind. That is my goal now. That is how I want to live my life and like Goff said early on in the book, I didn’t think that was allowed, but apparently, it was.
Love Does permitted me to be more of myself. It inspired me to continue discovering the endless ways of how God loves me, how I love Him and what that means for how I treat and care for others. Most importantly, how love does, it’s an action. I am forever grateful for learning this.
I just started Goff’s 2nd book/3rd book, “Everybody, Always” so I shall be reviewing that next! ❤
Some of my favorite quotes:
“I think God sometimes uses the completely inexplicable events in our lives to point us toward Him. We get to decide each time whether we will lean in toward what is unfolding and say yes or back away.”
“God is big enough and loves me enough to say He forgives me, I should actually believe Him. I mean, I shouldn’t keep feeling bad about all of the times I’ve messed up because that’s ignoring what God said… When I don’t trust God’s forgiveness, it’s kind of saying I really don’t believe he’s that good.”
“God doesn’t talk to me in an audible voice because God isn’t a human being; He’s God. That makes sense to me, because human beings are limited and God isn’t limited at all. He can communicate to us in any way He wants to anytime He wants to. Through flowers, other people, an uncomfortable sense, a feeling of joy, goose bumps, a new found talent, or an appreciation we acquire over time. It doesn’t need to be a big mystical thing…”
“We’re God’s plan, and we always have been.”
“I think Jesus had in mind that we would not just be “believers” but “participants.”
“If you are a sincere friend, folks around you will quickly understand that there’s no hidden agenda and nothing on the other side of the equals sign — just you.”
“…When I don’t know what to do to move my dreams down the road… I usually just try to figure out what the next step is and then do that… for most of us, that next step is as easy as picking up the phone, sending an email, writing a letter, buying a plane ticket, or just showing up. After that, things start happening.”
“… He doesn’t pass us messages, instead He passes us each other.”
“The world can make you think that love can be picked up at a garage sale or enveloped in a Hallmark card. But the kind of love that God created and demonstrated is a costly one because it involves sacrifice and presence. It’s a love that operates more like a sign language than being spoken outright…. What I learned from Randy reinforced the simple truth that continues to weave itself into the tapestry of every great story: Love Does.”