By Bob Goff
A Review By Tom Kennedy
This book was at the number one spot on the top 25 Christian books* and was also a New York Times bestseller. Hint: people like it. I was amazed at this man’s ability to meet people and get great projects done. His faith shines through each page. Goff is not an American. He is an honorary consul to the U.S. from the country of Uganda. His normal life is a hilarious mixture of reaching the unreachable and interacting with them as he thinks Jesus would. He is a strong advocate of Becoming Love. In the last few chapters of the book he tells of his efforts to put an end to the common practice in Uganda of witch doctors kidnapping children and cutting off their heads or, for boys, their genitals. This was done for evil, spiritual purposes. He helped stop this practice by having a witch doctor arrested and convicted. Later he led the man to Christ. That witch doctor will live in prison the rest of his life but is now sharing Christ with the other prisoners. He and Goff became good friends.
Sentences I loved:
- Loving people means caring without an agenda. P. 48
- When I meet someone who is hard to get along with, I think, Can I love that person for the next thirty seconds? 54
- He [Jesus] wants our hearts, not our help. 72
- …loving people the way Jesus did is always great theology. P. 83
- God doesn’t like us more when we succeed or less when we fail. He delights in our attempts. P. 102
- We are not held back by what we don’t have, but what we don’t use. P. 117
- He [God] won’t try to shout over all the noise in our lives to get our attention. He speaks most clearly in the stillness desperation brings. P. 136
- …we will become in our lives what we put in our buckets. I knew I needed to fill mine with patience. P. 160
- Many of us think our biggest mistakes as disqualifying us; God sees them as preparing us. P. 180-181
Who would like to read this book:
- For all Christians to see how one Christian can change his world.
- For all Christians to expand their ministry, if they do not have one (see Concerns below)
- For extraverts who need an extra inspiration.
Concerns I have:
- “Sadly, 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.” (My concern is that not even Jesus would heal all of the hurts of people when he was on the earth. We should help hurting people but not to the point of burning ourselves out and then retreating from future help. My advice: pick your ministries and work with a passion. Encourage other Christians in other ministries. More is accomplished this way.)
- Goff is high energy. For those of us with low energy, his type of life can be overwhelming and intimidating. My advice: Just use your talents till you are stressed, but not overstressed.
- He does a poor job of linking the church to his ministries. I think this is his biggest flaw.
- He takes phone calls from prisoners. My advice: I strongly recommend against taking phone calls or trying to help prisoners who randomly call you. I have worked in a prison before. Some of these people are very dangerous.
Recommendation: buy and read the book. I give it four stars out of five.
*based on sales data from Christian Book Expo: https://christianbookexpo.com/