Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People

Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People

New York Times Bestseller!What happens when we give away love like we're made of it? In his entertaining and inspiring follow-up to the New York Times bestselling phenomenon Love Does, Bob Goff takes readers on a journey into the secret of living without fear, constraint, or worry. The path toward the liberated existence we all long for is found in a truth as simple to say...

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Title:Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People
Author:Bob Goff
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Edition Language:English

Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People Reviews

  • Melissa

    Five stars, no doubt. This book challenged me, convicted me, inspired me, and deeply impacted me. It changed my life and the way I look at and love those around me. You will not regret reading this book!! I guarantee it will change your heart, molding and shaping it to soften and become more like Christ's. Bob Goff has a message in his heart that I feel Jesus is wanting us to apply to our lives. I am so grateful for Bob writing his story because it surely has changed mine. He is absolutely inspi

    Five stars, no doubt. This book challenged me, convicted me, inspired me, and deeply impacted me. It changed my life and the way I look at and love those around me. You will not regret reading this book!! I guarantee it will change your heart, molding and shaping it to soften and become more like Christ's. Bob Goff has a message in his heart that I feel Jesus is wanting us to apply to our lives. I am so grateful for Bob writing his story because it surely has changed mine. He is absolutely inspiring. I was drawn in by the captivating stories at the beginning of each chapter--then he would beautifully spin the story around into a beautiful analogy of love and selflessness. I already know this will be the best book of 2018 for me. If you read any book your whole life, let it be this one.

  • Brienne Coughlin

    Oh, where to start. I’ve had preview access to the first five chapters and this book has hit me like a brick. In Love Does, I cry every time I read (and yes, I’ve read it a lot) two stories: the one about Don Valencia and VIA Starbucks coffee, and the one where Bob and his friends sail to Hawaii. Those come quite late in the book, so I’m prepared and ready for a hard-hit to the feels. This one, however, hit me in chapter three. FIRST THING. But in such a good way. I can’t wait to keep reading an

    Oh, where to start. I’ve had preview access to the first five chapters and this book has hit me like a brick. In Love Does, I cry every time I read (and yes, I’ve read it a lot) two stories: the one about Don Valencia and VIA Starbucks coffee, and the one where Bob and his friends sail to Hawaii. Those come quite late in the book, so I’m prepared and ready for a hard-hit to the feels. This one, however, hit me in chapter three. FIRST THING. But in such a good way. I can’t wait to keep reading and learning about ways to “become love.” I really can’t wait to share it with my family and friends and people all over. Thanks, Bob, for bringing us another book on how to be more like Christ and how to be better people in general.

  • Lisa

    The long-awaited follow-up to Love Does, this book by Goff continues to put on display the extravagant love of God. Somehow Goff manages to be both whimsical and serious. What I read from him makes me want to live out the faith I say I believe.

    Reading what Bob writes makes me believe anything is possible because he is crazy enough to believe that living our lives for Jesus has a real impact on people right now. (He has the stories to back that up!)

    I wanted to underline the whole book. And becau

    The long-awaited follow-up to Love Does, this book by Goff continues to put on display the extravagant love of God. Somehow Goff manages to be both whimsical and serious. What I read from him makes me want to live out the faith I say I believe.

    Reading what Bob writes makes me believe anything is possible because he is crazy enough to believe that living our lives for Jesus has a real impact on people right now. (He has the stories to back that up!)

    I wanted to underline the whole book. And because Bob includes stories about his own failures and snuggles, his teaching is relatable and accessible. If you were encouraged and challenged by Love Does, expect to be blown away by Everybody Always.

  • Melinda Greenzalis

    This book is very Bob Goff - he makes things simple but not easy. Uncomplicated ideas that make you think. It (like Love Does) makes you see the possibilities not the road blocks.

  • Molly

    I am reviewing the first five chapters of the book that I received from the publisher.

    I first "met" Bob when I read Love Does and because I loved that book, when I found out about his new book I was dying to get my hands on a copy of it. While reading the first five chapters, I have laughed and cried - sometimes within just a few sentences. Bob has a way with words - his sentences may be short and simple, but they go so much deeper than the surface. In "Everybody, Always" Bob keeps Christianity

    I am reviewing the first five chapters of the book that I received from the publisher.

    I first "met" Bob when I read Love Does and because I loved that book, when I found out about his new book I was dying to get my hands on a copy of it. While reading the first five chapters, I have laughed and cried - sometimes within just a few sentences. Bob has a way with words - his sentences may be short and simple, but they go so much deeper than the surface. In "Everybody, Always" Bob keeps Christianity simple, not easy, and reminds us we are to love everybody, always. Even those that we are afraid of or disagree with. Jesus didn't come to save those who agreed with him, Jesus came to save everybody...always.

  • Rushaunda Diaz

    Bob Goff has a relaxed, conversational style of writing that makes you feel as if you are just sitting down to chat over coffee. He does a fantastic job of mixing deep truth with engaging stories from his own life. One minute you will be laughing out loud, before being brought to tears, followed closely by the need to stop reading to meditate and pray on the concepts presented.

    Loving others well requires us to step outside our comfort zone, not only to reach the “others” that we wouldn’t typic

    Bob Goff has a relaxed, conversational style of writing that makes you feel as if you are just sitting down to chat over coffee. He does a fantastic job of mixing deep truth with engaging stories from his own life. One minute you will be laughing out loud, before being brought to tears, followed closely by the need to stop reading to meditate and pray on the concepts presented.

    Loving others well requires us to step outside our comfort zone, not only to reach the “others” that we wouldn’t typically interact with, but to show them real, genuine love. Love is fun, joyful, and whimsical, but most of us would not use those words to describe the way we live our lives. Bob gives examples of getting a set of walkie-talkies for him and one of his neighbors who was going through a difficult time. They could have easily talked on the phone, but it was more fun to turn back to the childhood whimsy of walkie-talkies, like two cans on a string. He gives another example of a neighborhood parade he has every year, just for fun. If we live our life full of intentional joy, love will be a natural overflow from that joy.

  • Selena

    I received a free copy of Everybody Always by Bob Goff from Bookish First for my honest review.

    What a beautiful and delightful book to read in a world so full of chaos. This book is about how to live life with love always. It opens your heart and makes you realize that you need to love everyone not just the ones who are easy to love. This is a great reminder for everyone to realize that love is simple and doesn't need to ever be complicated. Bob Goff shows us to love the people that frustrate us

    I received a free copy of Everybody Always by Bob Goff from Bookish First for my honest review.

    What a beautiful and delightful book to read in a world so full of chaos. This book is about how to live life with love always. It opens your heart and makes you realize that you need to love everyone not just the ones who are easy to love. This is a great reminder for everyone to realize that love is simple and doesn't need to ever be complicated. Bob Goff shows us to love the people that frustrate us, the people we don't understand, the people we disagree with, and even people we might not like. An absolute must read.

  • Laurel Starkey

    I feel like the Grinch, but Bob came across as quite egoistic — buying houses and moving “sweet Marie” without discussing it with her, controlling what news his kids hear, holding “office hours” in Disney Land so his students have to pay MORE money just to ask questions they have about his course. He tells these stories in a folksy voice that embodies the best of Mr Rogers crossed with Wilfred Brimley advertising Quaker Oats. (I have the audible version)

    He’s always up for adventure and I really

    I feel like the Grinch, but Bob came across as quite egoistic — buying houses and moving “sweet Marie” without discussing it with her, controlling what news his kids hear, holding “office hours” in Disney Land so his students have to pay MORE money just to ask questions they have about his course. He tells these stories in a folksy voice that embodies the best of Mr Rogers crossed with Wilfred Brimley advertising Quaker Oats. (I have the audible version)

    He’s always up for adventure and I really appreciated the anecdotes about his truck battle with his dad, the homeless man’s timeshare arrangement in said truck, and his friendship with the TSA agent. The book soars when he shares his adventures in Ugandan law and subsequent adoption of Charlie.

    The book was uneven. Friends of mine have said that listening to Bob is like hearing Jesus. Uh. No. I found the spiritual applications to be the weakest parts - very touchy freely. But they are an integral part of his intended message: don’t judge, don’t write people off, look below the surface and you will find something in everyone to love. That’s a great message for the world today.

  • Luke Hillier

    I need to start off with a disclaimer. I think this is a really important book with a powerful message...and I also think it has some problematic elements. However, I'm struggling to even feel permission to voice the latter because 1. it feels defensive and like I totally missed his point, especially since he harped so much against having opinions and 2. Bob Goff has done some incredible, inspiring things in his life and all my accomplishments and contributions to humanity frankly pale in compar

    I need to start off with a disclaimer. I think this is a really important book with a powerful message...and I also think it has some problematic elements. However, I'm struggling to even feel permission to voice the latter because 1. it feels defensive and like I totally missed his point, especially since he harped so much against having opinions and 2. Bob Goff has done some incredible, inspiring things in his life and all my accomplishments and contributions to humanity frankly pale in comparison. Reviewing this feels a lot like reviewing

    , except maybe even worse because who wants to be the person "Well actually"-ing a book about how we should go love people? But I think it's dangerous to let anyone hang out on a pedestal and censor your more critical thoughts, so I'm going for the both/and here...and there is a lot both/and. I can't remember the last book that elicited such strong moments of "YES" and "Uhhh...no..." from me before.

    I loved the message at the heart of the book, and can't imagine one that I'd rather Christians be receiving and championing right now. Goff is responding to a modern-day Church that's gone stale in its dedication to reciting the same script with perfect precision and convincing others to do the same, following a narrow, boxed-in model of Christianity that's far more focused on right belief than the embodiment and enactment of anything being studied, memorized, and repeated. Although he never outright names it, this reads as a rebuke/invitation to a Christianity caught up (and losing) a culture war, one that's become known more for its condemning opinions on social issues and identities than, well, anything else. The incarnation of Christianity he's presenting here is vibrant, joyful, welcoming, adventurous, self-sacrificing, others-focused, and Jesus-centered...all qualities I think many would agree are lacking in common conceptions of the Church today, particularly from those outside of it.

    Centering around John 13:35's declaration that Jesus will be made known by our love for others, the core of the book is an exhortation to set aside our loud opinions, critical commentary, and even our tried and true markers of what most would consider a "churched faith" (not to say there's an anti-church message necessarily) in favor of the pursuit of what he calls "becoming love." I found that language really compelling, and was struck throughout the book at his encouragements to dissolve the barriers we construct to set us apart and above the "Other" (p3), embrace a gracious posture of naming who you see people becoming rather than where they're falling short or following to a strategic agenda (p31-32, 48), intentionally fill our lives with people unlike us who exist across the many lines that divide us (p43), relinquishing our need for the spotlight and its admiration to instead treat every act of love as a gift to God (p73), committing to actually, tangibly offering support when it's asked for by "the least of these" (p144-145), ask ourselves how our life is working not for ourselves but for the people around us (p159), and practice the hard, hard work of gracious enemy love (like the last chunk of the book). That is all really, REALLY good stuff!! Convicting, energizing, encouraging, and catalyzing, for sure and without a doubt. In fact, my sister initially had just loaned me the book, and after only two pages I knew it was saying some things so terrific that I had to have my own copy.

    But, I have a but. I don't think of myself as someone who walks around pointing fingers as a part of the Privilege Police, although the context that I live in and the relationships I've made there have undeniably given me a lens that notices disparities of power, access, and, yes, privilege. In all things, I I now find myself instinctively asking how my neighbors fit into the narrative. And I've gotta be honest, I noticed some things with those eyes that made me pretty uncomfortable. To start, as others have named before, this is packed full of Bob's whimsical, life-changing adventures...all of which are possible because of his apparently exorbitant wealth. And while he clearly does a better job than most using his resources for the good of others, there are examples that make it clear he's still pretty removed from impoverished or even middle class reality. At one point, touching on the feelings of inadequacy we face when we compare ourselves to others, the example of inferiority he offers is when the private plane he's flying is a scrappy model older and more beaten up than the newer ones being flown around him. This is his life, and it makes for good stories, but something about the total, absolute lack of ownership or naming how unique his opportunities are was disappointing. Later promoting the importance of being present and prioritizing his family relationships, he shares about his daily flights home for dinner, even if it means booking a third and fourth flight to the same part of the country and back the following day, and how he flew to Seattle each day for a number of years without his kids even knowing. It reads as a slap in the face when I think of single moms working two jobs or even truck drivers who obviously don't have that luxury. As a final and most frustrating example, he outright brags about holding his office hours at Disneyland, saying "I tell the students at Pepperdine if they have a question and ninety-five bucks, they should come and see me," (p181 yes that's a direct quote) which just feels belligerent in its disenfranchisement and exclusion.

    And that, I think, speaks more directly to the frustration that grew over time towards the seemingly total lack of an analysis of power undergirding his ideas. While he certainly names the importance of Matthew 25:31-46 and its call to serve the "least of these" and I credit him for both naming that and living it out most notably through his nonprofit Love Does, I needed more specificity and nuance from him in his writing. The reality is, love looks different towards a slave and a slave owner, and while he mentions at one point the room we have to speak truth to power, the example is him telling a poor witch doctor from Uganda not to kidnap children or he'll kill them. Aside from promoting the death penalty, I'm obviously not against speaking out against witch doctors who kidnap children, but my fear is that when you position yourself so ardently against opinions and big words (the two things he most consistently speaks against), you may close yourself off from being challenged to examine the world with a critical lens that really allows you to speak truth to systemic power. For some people, the world isn't just full of setbacks and difficult people, but structural impediments designed to keep them behind and legitimate oppressors capable of exerting unjust power over them. As an example, it felt telling that despite the queer community being the most obviously disenfranchised from the Church by the opinionated posture he critiques, he never outright names them at any point in the book, a risk that could have paid off big time in challenging Christians to love the community they're historically the least likely to.

    And lastly, it has to be named that in nearly every single story, Bob is positioned as the hero, a sort of Santa Claus dolling out neighborhood parades, ankle bracelets, and trips to Mount Kilimanjaro, and while it's really wonderful and awesome that he's able to do all these amazing, spectacular things for people, it starts to feel weird after a while, especially when you realize how few simple, inexpensive, ordinary examples of people he deems to be becoming love there are. (That's mainly why I loved the chapter about Adrien the TSA agent so much; it was all about him rather than Bob.) The people in my life that came to mind when I thought of who was "becoming love" didn't have means to do anything extravagant or spectacular by worldly standards, and some more modest examples would've been appreciated. Bob makes a point at least once to name that Jesus is the one responsible for leading anyone to Jesus, but I think there are still elements of a savior-complex even in the ways that Bob is consistently centered. I know I'm in murky territory criticizing someone who's done so much good, but so much of my work has been about learning that to do justice, we can't just do the right things, we also have to adopt the right posture and perspective.

    Even with those critiques, though, I still think this is a really beautiful, important, needed book. If all the Christians in my life read it, they would be better off, and so would the reputation of our faith and our world at large. I have found myself continually galvanized by the simple yet demanding invitation to "become love" and have already begun to see fruit from doing just that. In a culture that is increasingly polarized and a manifestation of the Church that seems more invested in reinforcing its borders and barriers and perfecting its gatekeeping doctrine, this is an undeniably relevant message. One of my mentors often says, "Eat the meat and spit out the bones" when it comes to content that she shares. The meat of this, I can honestly say, I absolutely loved; it has the potential and even the likelihood of re-centering followers of Jesus around the importance of embodying love in powerful ways...it's just a shame there are quite a few bones.

    (Post Edit: this is my first review to garner much of a response — glad it resonates with so many folks! Feel free to friend me if you’d like to see more thoughts on books haha, I’d love to connect more on the site and see your thoughts too!)

  • Erin *Help I’m Reading and I Can’t Get Up*

    1.5 stars. A real disappointment. While I agree with his sentiment, the entire point is in the title/first chapter, which then gets repeated over and over and over through loosely organized stories.

    The main reason I didn't connect, though, was because of the squarely white upperclass male perspective. From start to finish, Goff throws in casual mentions of extraordinary spending-- buying six homes in ten years, hopping a plane to Mount Kilimanjaro.

    1.5 stars. A real disappointment. While I agree with his sentiment, the entire point is in the title/first chapter, which then gets repeated over and over and over through loosely organized stories.

    The main reason I didn't connect, though, was because of the squarely white upperclass male perspective. From start to finish, Goff throws in casual mentions of extraordinary spending-- buying six homes in ten years, hopping a plane to Mount Kilimanjaro.

    And the uniquely male bravado of sitting down next to someone in a restaurant and proclaiming you'd like to buy their home *because it overlooks your favorite surfing beach*.... Yes, all of that totally matches my life.

    This kind of thing just really rubs me the wrong way. And, pair all this with the repeated thesis that we should love everyone... even the "creepy" people... it comes out a little Savior Complexy. Just a little. Again, the sentiment is nice, but there was just no point of connection for me.

    Pretty cover, though.

    Edited to Add:

    Here's my answer to a comment on this review. It fleshes out what I've stated here.

    Amy wrote: "I get what you're saying, but just because he writes from his own experience (which is different from many), does it make his point any less valid? Any less true?"

Hi Amy! Great question. Thanks for making me write out my reasoning—it’s helpful for me to get clarity here, too. 

For me, there are two issues here. The first is that the book is simply inaccessible to anyone who’s not rich, white, American, and male. Bummer!

The second is more complicated, and has to do with the reference in my review to the Savior Complex. The author writes from a distinct position of power (because in Western culture, to be white, male, and rich is to be powerful). His premise is that *we* (the people with power) should “accept,” “embrace,” “appreciate" the *others* (the people without power). In this situation, the Powerful are still the only actors, while the Powerless are passive recipients of our benevolence. This does not, as he supposes, subvert the system, but reinforces it. In its worst extremes, this Savior complex manifests in the white slave master who thinks he’s kind to his slaves, whom he treats as his children-- but they are still slaves. It’s the "benevolent" dictator who doesn’t kill you today, and thinks you should bow down to him for it.

Obviously, I’m taking the argument to extreme. But I think it’s salient. I would advocate that the powerful (particularly white American males with money) should use their power to elevate the powerless. Give *them* voices. Give *them* power. Step back, give your own money and power away so that others can have agency. Live in such a way that your life sheds light on their situation, be in solidarity with them. Move into their neighborhoods and befriend dthem. Babysit their kids while they work 3 jobs. Learn how the 99% live-- or struggle to live..... Do these things, instead of windsurfing in Australia and musing about them from afar.

I hope that helps explain my review. It’s not that the author's position is any more or less “true” than any other; it’s that this position is not accomplishing what he hopes it will. “Be nice to icky folks” is not the same as living a life of solidarity and community with such folk, which is what I would argue would be the better, more Jesus-like posture.

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