by Bob Goff
god doesn’t give us a recipe for living as a community but he gives us great ingredients: he gives us everybody, always.
if we’re going to get it right, it’s going to take everybody to pull it off. it won’t get done in a day or two either. it’s going to take always..t
they decided to spend more time loving people than trying to game the system by just agreeing w jesus. you see, they wanted to follow jesus’ ie; instead of telling people what jesus meant, they just loved people the way he did
god doesn’t want us to just study him like he’s an academic project. he wants us to become love..
children have mastered what most of us are just beginners at. one of the things about kids, in addition to their simple faith, is they aren’t afraid of the things many of us are afraid of.. their curiosity about what they don’t know outdistances their fears about what they do know by a mile.. be not afraid..t
people who are becoming love experience the same uncertainties we all do. they just stop letting fear call the shots
when you are together w someone you love, you get to decide where you are, even if it’s different from where you actually are..
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..t
the yellow truck
don’t tell people what they want ..tell them who they are
don’t tell them that either.. 1\ we can’t be defined – we’re always changing – defn’s stifle/kill the aliveness 2\ the closest to a defn has to come from us .. from eudaimonia
even when someone’s suggestions aren’t intended to be manipulative they still feel like it
same w telling people who they are
the problem w mere compliance is it turns us into actors..rather than making decisions ourselves, we read the lines off the script someone we were told to respect handed to us, and we sacrifice our ability to decide for ourselves
the fix for all this is as easy as the problem is hard. 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
no .. that’s not good.. we have to hear it in our heart
god did this constantly in the bible. he told moses he was a leader and moses became one. he told noah he was a sailor and he became one.. he told sarah she was a mother and she became one…
that’s because god can hear each heart.. we can’t do that.. the best heart we can listen to is our own
all the directions we’re giving each other aren’t getting people to the feet of jesus.. let god’s spirit do the talking when it comes to telling people what they want
and.. who they are..
more often, the unintended result is they lead these people back to us
here’s the problem: when we make ourselves the hall monitor of other people’s behavior, we risk having approval become more important than jesus love
exactly.. don’t tell people who they are – unless it’s something like – ie: beloved
shame does that to us. i t makes us leave safe places. it breaks the rhythms we’ve established w each other.. shame makes us silent. it strips us of the few words we might have. it mutes our life and our love..we can’t allow this to happen between us. shame will do this, and fears will too..t
he won’t love us more or less based on how we act, and he’s more interested in our hearts than all the things we do..
it’s god’s purpose for us.. it’s the reason jesus came.. the whole bible in a word.. people who are becoming love are with those who are hurting and help them get home.. i’ve always thought that people who didn’t want to be with people here are going to hate heaven.. truly. it will be everybody always there..
not generosity, sermons, singing.. would help us understand god’s love.. he said it was none of these.. jesus told his friends that letting people see the way we love each other would be the best way to let people know about him.. it wouldn’t be because we’d given them a lot of directions or instructions or because they memorized or studied all the right things.. it would be because someone met you or me and felt as if they’d just met jesus.. just met heaven.. everyone there..
we’re supposed to just love the people in front of us.. we’re the ones who tell them who they are
yeah.. love them.. don’t tell them who they are..
loving people means caring w/o an agenda.. as soon as we have an agenda it’s not love anymore
yeah.. no agenda.. and don’t tell people who they are
people don’t grow where they are informed; they grow where they’re loved and accepted..
and give people medals.. lots of them
no.. no rewards.. no labels
the people around us should be walking around looking like the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff.. they should jingle when they walk
it’s this simple: i want people to meet you and me and feel like they’ve just met everyone in heave
yeah.. no medals in heaven.. nobody telling somebody else who they are
i know what it feels like to want to be with your children
there’s a big diff between knowing what someone’s doing and being with them while they do it..
known by someone – missing piece #2
he wasn’t sent because god was mad at us.. he jumped out of heaven and came as immanuel because he wanted to be god with us
the idea of cutting away everything and starting all over again sounded excessive to me.. his plan for our renewal is that we cut away all the thing hanging us up and start all over again each day
find what the people you love want to do and then go be with them in it.. be with each other.
don’t just gather info about people who have failed big or are in need – go be with them.. when you get there, don’t just be in proximity – be present.. catch them. don’t try to teach them. there’s a big diff..
we don’t need a plan to do these things. we don’t need to wait for just the right moment.. we just need to show up
sometimes we make loving people a lot more complicated than jesus did. we don’t need to anymore.
people who are becoming love stop faking it about who they are and where they are in their lives
here’s the deal: when we act like someone we’re not, it’s often because we’re not happy w who we are. we might think we need other people’s permission or love or approval before we can live our lives and pursue our beautiful ambitions.. it’s bad if we miss out on who god uniquely made us to be so we can be who someone else thinks we should be.. god has never looked in your mirror or mine and wished he saw someone else..
everytime we fake it and aren’t authentic, we make god’s love for us look fake too.. he doesn’t have a wax figure of us somewhere that looks smarter/taller/short/skinnier/more ripped than us.. he doesn’t want us to just look diff. he wants ut to become love.. it won’t be because we talked about who we wished we were over and over again or because we gave ourselves enough positive affirmations in the mirror.. only love has the power to get us there..
we weren’t just an idea god hoped would work out someday. we were one of his most creative expressions of love, ever. . don’t fake it; sync it up. go be you
what we’ve spent our time collecting might not be worth it
people who are becoming love stop collecting tickets.. t.. they don’t think grace is something we can trade good conduct for.. they don’t take the bait and collect what has no value to god.. they shun all the attention because they don’t need it anymore.. they realize bright lights don’t need spotlights..
like the medals/shiny
these same people who are becoming love stop keeping track of other people’s tickets too. instead of evaluating what other are doing, they see them as people who are on their own adventure w god.. t
they don’t stop counting because they don’t care.. they’re just so busy engaging in what god is doing in the world, it doesn’t matter anymore..t
overstate the good because we’re looking for validation
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..
people who turn into love don’t keep track anymore.. jesus didn’t do any of the relational math either..
we’re invited because we’re loved.. not because we earned it..t
they don’t need anyone to clap for them. they don’t need validation for things they know are inherently right and true and beautiful.. they don’t need all the accolades that come w recognition. they also don’t feel a need to criticize people who have gotten a couple of things wrong or hit a couple of sour chords in their lives.
don’t ignore the green lights you already have.. what delights you.. what fires your imagination.. do those things
here’s the deal: all those deep urgings you feel to step toward the beautiful, courageous thing your’e afraid to do – you probably won’t always have the chance. now is the time. your life, your experiences.. are your green lights..
here’s the thing: we usually don’t need all the plans we make.. planning to love people is diff than just loving people.. t.. for some people, it’s easier to make plans than to make time. if this is you, here’s how to fix it: make love your plan. there’s less to write down that way..t
we’ll see what we spend the most time looking for
people who are becoming love try impossible things because they’ve surrounded themselves with voices they can trust
blind lex – i keep track of where i am. it helps me find what i need
when what our faith looks like becomes more important than what it is, it’s evidence we’ve forgotten who we rally are..
people don’t need info; they want examples.. t
he’ll be asking everyone .. if they really were who they said they were during their lives
we have eyes to see people who are hurting, but we only watch because we’re scared if we get closer, it will disrupt what we’ve spent a lifetime making orderly..t
carhart-harris entropy law – hard won order
we have minds to understand the depths of others’ pain, but we just empathize w/o getting involved because we’re scared of what might happen if we do.. t
many of us are limited by what we have but don’t use.. what was most striking about karl.. he found a freedom in his life most of us are still looking for in ours..
karl’s life is not unlike the story of a young boy w a few fish and some bread. jesus tells us to bring what we have to him and he will make something amazing out of it.. karl just keeps bringing what he’s got to jesus.. i think we should do the same; just keep brining whatever you have to god and let him decide what he’ll do with it..
we can be so busy trying to get the approval of others that we forget who jesus said we are..
people who have developed a friendship w jesus and are becoming love aren’t immune to life’s setbacks.. they have just as many as everyone else.
people like karl don’t think about what they’ve lost. they think about what they’ll do w what they still have .. and the answer is much..
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..
he didn’t need any more instructions; he just need to see i believed in him enough to let him do it. he didn’t need more words or to know what they meant in greek or hebrew he just needed an opportunity.. t
equity: everyone getting a go everyday
the people who have shaped my faith the most did the same for me. they didn’t try to teach me anything; they let me know they trust me.. and that taught me everything..t.. those moment are forever etched into who i am.. i think god does the same w us
i don’t think literally hearing something (like god’s voice) is what most of us are after.. what we actually want is that extra nudge of confidence form god and the opp to move forward courageously to do those things we already know how to do..
already on each heart
what a shame it would be if we were waiting for god to say something while he’s been waiting on us to do something.. he speaks to me the loudest on the way.. simply put, if we want more faith, we need to do more stuff..
school ness.. messing with us
the truth is, i’m often making too much racket to hear him. he wont’ try to shout over all the noise in our lives to get our attention.. he speaks most clearly in the stillness desperation brings
and/or the stillness stillness brings
his silence isn’t indifference it’s engagement. he isn’t quiet because he’s run out of things to say or is scared about the outcome. it’s because he already believes in me, just as much as he knows the outcome.. he’s so confident we already know what to do next that he’s willing to be silent even when we ask for his voice. he doesn’t care as much as we do whether we perform perfectly or not. he just wants us to be his while we do it.
*most of us don’t need more instructions; we simply need someone who believes in us.. t
if we’re fortunate, god will surround us w friends who know us so well they’ve stopped trying to control our conduct w endless instruction and instead trust that god is at work in our lives.. even if he’s doing things we don’t yet understand
we shouldn’t be surprised when we don’t understand what god who says he surpasses all understanding is doing.. god doesn’t want us to get stuck scratching our heads or overanalyzing our circumstances.. . he doesn’t send in all the plays to get us out of our funk and he doesn’t carpet bomb us w instruction about what to do next.. instead, he continues to be with us.. he’s not entirely silent when he is either.. he’s written things on our hearts like love and grace and patience and compassion so we can write those things on the hearts of our friends..
when we dream up something where the outcome seems uncertain and we don’t hear god’s voice, what if god isn’t saying anything to us because he’s already said it..
i love you. you’ve got this. you know enough..
sometimes i only pretend to care for people who are hurting. the way i know this is simple – i don’t do anything to help them..
people who want a reason to delay often wait for plans.. it’s almost as if jesus knew we’d invent excuses under the guise of waiting for his ‘plan’ so he made it *simple for us. he said his plan for all of us was to love him and then find people ..and go love them
i don’t want what’s fair anymore.. i want to be like jesus.. it’s a distinction worth making..
but i do want everyone to get a go.. and that’s not happening because of us..
go ahead and risk it. you’re just tree #4. you don’t need a bunch of lines; jesus is in the lead role, and he’s go t it handled..
jesus doesn’t need our help w the hungry or thirsty or sick or strange or naked or people in jails. i know this because i asked him. he wants our hearts.. he let’s us participate if we’re willing so we’ll learn more about how he feels about us and how he feels about the people we may have been avoiding..
i don’t know. we’ve gotten ourselves into such a mess..
i feel like we’ve got to go deeper than pass out socks and pay 9.95 phone bills.. because it has to be everybody
stop laying sod where he’s planting seed.. he’s more interested in making us grow than having us look finished..
(on bringing jason into his – failure – class at pepperdine law school) we were sitting on the kitchen floor pounding waffles when something inside of him snapped and he ripped off all his clothes.. he ran outside and melted down on tmz in front of millions of people..
my friend had made a mistake prompted by something far beyond his control.. here’s the important think i learned form him: he doesn’t think he’s still naked on the corner.. many of us think of our big mistakes as disqualifying us; god sees them as preparing us. jason is still as creative as he is courageous, and w guts and grit he sees the bright hope his future offers the world.. he is dreaming, inventing and exploring again.. he’s learning and giving away hope and joy again.. in a word, he sees what most of us don’t.. he sees who he’s becoming, and this is it: he’s becoming love.. sometimes god uses the most difficult things in our lives to show us the most accurate things about our lives – if we have the guts to receive a little grace..
on witch drs and child sacrifice.. happening now.. almost a thousand children are abducted by witch drs in a single year in uganda alone. the belief among witch drs is that the head or blood or private parts of their victims have magical powers. they bury them in foundations of building and use them for ceremonies and of rather horrible practices. mothers will protect their newborn baby girls by piercing their ears at birth, hoping they’ll no longer represent a perfect sacrifice..
thousands of people in uganda had been affected by witch drs, yet in the history of the country no one had ever taken on a witch dr in the legal system. in part.. because young victims never survive. the other reality is that many, including some judges, are afraid of the witch drs..
i’ve been traveling to uganda regularly now for almost two decades w a nonprofit .. love does.. which has the goal of helping children throughout the world.. cases of those wrongfully stuck in prisons, and we operate schools and safe houses in uganda, iraq, somalia, nepal and india for kids who need an education and for young girls who have been rescued from horrible circumstances..
no arrest had been made. no question had been asked. no one went after the witch dr.. ?
someone once asked what i would write if i only had 6 words from my autobio.. :
what if we weren’t afraid anymore?
be not afraid..t
longden oppress law: you can’t oppress the people who aren’t afraid anymore
jesus didn’t come to make us look like we’ve got it all together. he came to let us know how to be like him..
paul explained grace in this way: neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither present nor future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation could ever separate us form the love of god.. what he was saying is the horrible things we’ve done won’t separate us from god.. and they won’t separate kabi either..
our problem following jesus is we’re trying to be a better version of us, rather than a more accurate reflection of him
huge – iterating on the gap
there’s a big diff between liking jesus and being like him and he said we would never be able to be like him unless we loved our enemies
what we punish, god can forgive
it’s easy to talk a good game about loving your enemies until you have one..
i didn’t see a killer in front of me; i felt like i was looking at a criminal hanging on a cross next to jesus.. ‘today you will be w me in paradise’ there wasn’t a quiz jesus gave to the criminal to get in. he didn’t ask the guy about his positions on a host of social issues. he didn’t ask him to change his behaviors or say a prayer first. he just said, ‘you’re in’..
while our life experiences and circumstances could not be more diff, it turns our many of the problems we have turning into the men we want to be are the same..
he said he would turn us into love if we would leave behind who we used to be
i realized in that moment kabi probably knows more about jesus and forgiveness than most of us
he’s a guy who is desperate enough for jesus that he’s willing to make huge changes in his life.. he’s not a guy who’s comfortable like me
grace never seems fair until you need some
it’s hard to ignore that most of the people doing the talking from up front are guys like me who seem pretty nice and are relatable.. they make us feel comfortable.. yet the people jesus used more often were the ones who had messed up big and were desperate like kabi
what i learned.. when you’ve got a guide you can trust, you don’t have to worry about the path you’re on.. i’m just trying to follow love’s lead
i’ve misunderstood going slow as lacking enthusiasm and going fast as joy.. i’ve confused patience as a lack of will and activity as purpose..
it’s easy to confuse busyness w progress and accomplishments w pleasing jesus..
(gave charlie medals for bravery, courage..).. he looked like colin powell when we walked off that mtn (kilimanjaro)
dang. exactly. no medals.
211go do that w people you love including your enemies.. don’t talk to them about their failures and the dark laces the’ve been . talk to them about who they’re becoming and the bright hope that is their future.. speak truthful and wise words over them. bring a few medals too
tell them – look how far you’ve come’.. one of most important question s ever conceived.. ‘where do you want to go’
perhaps rather – what are you curious about
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
maté acting out law: – not what is your addiction.. what is your pain
the people who creep us out aren’t obstacles to having faith,; they’re opportunities to understand it
who don’t you understand/get..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/rude or flat wrong or creeps you out.. don’t tell them all your opinions; give them all your love..
the fingerprints on the cover of this book? i got the witch drs in our school in gulu together an most of the fingerprints are theirs
discrimination as equity (thumbprint) – as – everyone – each one – always
who should i love and for how long – everybody always..
every actor has a reason