Love Does is a book written about the whimsical and enthralling life of Bob Goff and his discovery of a secretly incredible life in an ordinary world. His life is very different than the everyday christian because he follows what God wants rather than the world, no matter his opinion. He changes the idea of love from a thought or feeling into an action. He lives by the idea that, if Jesus would do it, he should do it, no matter how far out of his comfort zone it may be. His life has impacted many people because it has been fueled by love, not works.
Love in action turns each day into a meaningful chance to make faith simple and real. The lessons Goff illustrates from his experiences inspire one to be fearless and spontaneous, all for the glory of God. In Love Does by Bob Goff, the author uses his own attitudes and experiences to illustrate that the only way to goodness is through Jesus, to prove that there comes a time when one must choose between what is easy and what is right. One of Goff’s most admirable attributes is his attitude of persistence when following out God’s plan and doing the right thing no matter how hard it may be.
After college, Goff applied for law school. He was intelligent, but did not test well, so he did not pass the law school entrance exam. He met with the dean of the school and begged to be accepted, but he would not budge. Goff decided to sit outside of the dean’s office everyday and asked if he could attend the school when the dean was walking to his car each evening. After many weeks of this, and the school year already having begun, the dean finally accepted. Goff says that, “I used to think that God guided us by opening and closing doors, but now I know sometimes God wants us to kick them down” (Goff 38).
This was not necessarily the right thing for Goff to do, but his attitude of persistence proved that there was something different in him, and the dean saw that. When people want to do something right and good, God places the desire in our hearts because he wants it for us and it honors him. God did not want Goff to give up. Little did he know God’s plan for him was to be a lawyer saving children in Uganda, and eventually be on the counsel that would impact so many around him. Many times people think a door has been closed and instead of giving up, God wants us to fight and knock down the door.
This positive attitude helped Goff realize that it would not be easy to get into the law school, but God was calling him to do it, therefore he was not going to give up until he was successful. Like Jesus, one needs to have an attitude of persistence that does not give up when failure comes their way, and shall strive to pursue Jesus even when it seems impossible. Goff had a similar attitude when he was desperately trying to get the woman of his dreams, Maria, to marry him. He pursued her for 3 years before she would go out with him, but never gave up because he knew deep down she was the one for him.
He says, “I used to think Jesus motivated us with ultimatums, but now I know he pursues us in love” (Goff 46). Goff’s attitude of persistence in pursuing his wife Maria, lives out the idea that ultimatums do not mean anything. In other words, when Maria gave her ultimatum saying she did not want to date Goff, he took that and let it drive him to loving her even more and doing everything possible to prove how much he cared for her. It was not the right or easy to continue pursuing her after being rejected, but he knew in his heart she was the one and did everything in his power to make that happen.
In the same way, God does everything he can to pursue us and to love us even when we reject him. Goodness is defined by Jesus, and Jesus does not give up on his people. Rejection only motivates one to continue to pursue their dreams. Goff did what Jesus would have done, and never gave up. A beautiful marriage came out of it. One could give up when failure comes their way and take the easy way out, but success only comes from having an attitude of persistence like Jesus, knowing that love conquers all, no matter how long it takes.
Bob Goff uses his experiences of acting in love to encapsulate striving to be like Jesus, while putting oneself out of their comfort zone because that is what God is calling one to do. After several years of work in Uganda with children in jails, Goff received a phone call, which he believed was a joke, to become the american counsel for the Republic of Uganda. Goff was shocked by the offer and was unsure if this was a good job for him to accept at that point in his life.
He thought that he could continue mission trips, donations, and ministry instead of being the counsel. He prayed and realized that there was a greater reasoning behind this offer and God would not have placed him in the position without a plan. Goff accepted the offer realizing he was called to love the Ugandans and say, “we were all meant to save lives; God is always trying to save lives and he uses the least likely people to do it” (Goff 66). Goff learned through this experience that the devil constantly tries to twist one’s own thoughts to take the easier path.
If Goff had declined the offer and continued mission trips and donating instead, he would have been taking the easy route and avoiding God’s plan. He would have still been helping people, but not for the right reasons, which is fulfilling God’s purpose. God calls the most unlikely people to do the most extraordinary things. Sometimes, people are called to do things that flip their whole life upside down. Deciding to put oneself in vulnerable situations is a hard to do because people do not want to be in a situation where they could fail, but God will not put someone in a position that will destroy him.
Many people believe in goodness through works, but goodness is only achieved when fulfilling Christ’s purpose in one’s life. Choosing the easy path does not stretch one’s character or growth, but choosing the right path comes with great reward in heaven, but no always on earth. Striving to be like God and live out his plan impacts people for the greater good, just as Goff impacted the Ugandans, by living out God’s plan for him. Later in life, Goff quit being a lawyer and travelled to Uganda with his friend John to create a school for children who do not have access to one.
His friend John began to notice the need for housing for kids attending the school they ran, and he asked Goff if they could allow two of the children to stay at the school overnight. Repeatedly Goff said no, until one day he caved, and two years later there are 250 children staying at the school. Goff says that, “[he] used to think taking a risk would reduce the number of friends [he has], but now [he] knows that love draws more people in” (Goff 206). Goff wanted to take the easy route and not allow students to sleep at the school because he knew it would grow into a huge responsibility.
He was fearful and that fear caused him to doubt in God’s plan. He was scared of the growth and the fact that it would all be in his hands. But his friend John helped him realize that he was not living the way God would want him to live. Yes, it is great that he made a school for the less fortunate Ugandan children, but he was afraid to take to the next step. Many times in life, people do amazing things, then get to a point of fear too scared to continue afraid of failure or responsibility.
That is when the sinfulness of the world kicks in and your actions become about one’s own self rather than God. When actions become for one’s own glory, they are no longer acts of love. Goff realized this and changed his actions into something that benefitted others around him. The easy path does not impact others, while the right, yet possibly hard and uncomfortable path makes the difference. The wise Albus Dumbledore once said, “dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.
The world today is a twisted, evil, and murderous place that constantly shoots people with bullets of sadness, regret, and shame. This bullet plants a seed of embarrassment and hurt that can be hard to dig out before the pain has spread to other parts of the body. This can make it extremely hard to live out God’s plan, but it is not supposed to be easy to be a follower of Christ. In fact, it is a hard battle that cannot be won until the day of judgement comes. Following Christ is not easy, but it is right and it is more important than grades, popularity, clothing, likes on instagram, and fame.
Following Christ is about having goodness in your heart no matter what you do and loving the people around you like there is no tomorrow. When love drives actions, people are left better than the way they were found. One small act of love coming from the goodness in someone’s heart could spark a flame in another that could slowly change the world. Goff’s attitudes and experiences are a true representation of loving Christ through everything you do, no matter how hard it may be. Love does.