Bullying and teasing have been around probably as long as there have been kids. So have cliques, labels and popularity. It almost seems that being unkind and unloving has been accepted as part of growing up in a fallen world. Yet, God has called Christian young people to something higher. To love those their peers tell them are unloveable. To be kind and loving to those who are considered outsiders by their friends.
Enter Bob Goff. Some of you may be familiar with this energetic author with a joyful gleam in his eye. His first book, Love Does was a best seller. Fans have waited for years for him to write a second book. The wait is almost over. Goff’s next book Everybody, Always will be released in April. I was able to get a sneak peek at the first five chapters.
Normally, I don’t agree to review a book unless I am given the entire volume. It really isn’t fair to the author, because any concerns I may have about the first few chapters may have been addressed in the remainder of the book. I made an exception for Goff’s book, because I am so familiar with his work – both in writing and in ministry.
For those of you who loved his first book, go ahead and pre-order this one. Goff is an engaging story teller, who recounts tales of his adventures loving others. The first five chapters of Everybody Always include stories you haven’t heard before – even one which will most surely make you get at least a bit teary.
Goff’s writing really appeals to young people. They “get” his sense of whimsy and the appeal of going through your day simply loving others. Many have read his first book multiple times and shared it with their friends. If you have a teen or even pre-teen, they will probably love this book, too. It’s a fun read and somehow soothing for them to know Bob Goff is out there somewhere loving people in slightly crazy ways every day.
My only concern with this book, is why I wish I had been given a complete copy. It may easily have been addressed in later chapters I have not seen. I am such a fan of loving people. My only concern is are we so consumed with loving people in the moment that we are afraid to share with them what God wants from them and for them?
Social justice has trumped and even replaced faith sharing in some churches. We seem to be forgetting that loving people without telling them what God wants them to do to become Christians and be able to go to Heaven is not fully loving them. True, complete love is brave enough to share the Gospel message with them. It is courageous enough to share the truth in love about their brokenness and the healing they can find in baptism.
I have to believe Goff knows that. I pray that he shares it with readers in later chapters. Loving everybody, always means loving them enough to help them get to Heaven. Love without the faith sharing piece isn’t complete, godly love – it’s a more shallow image of God’s full love.
Regardless, you will enjoy this book. You will probably be inspired to be more openly loving in your own life – to take chances in loving. And so will your kids when they read it. Just don’t forget to teach your kids how to share their faith with love while they are loving everybody, always. Make sure they know how to completely reflect God’s amazing plan of love for all of us.
A launch kit was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. Affiliate links are included for your convenience.