Hello, everyone! It’s been a bit since I’ve shared a simple book review, so I’m happy to be adding this one now.
I received an ARC of Everybody, Always from BookishFirst and Nelson Books in exchange for an honest review. Before learning about this book, I had only heard of Love Does in passing, so I didn’t really know who Bob Goff was. After finishing this one, however, I love his writing and look forward to reading more.
This is a more spiritual book than the ones I normally review, but I think the message of this book is super important. I’m super excited to share my thoughts with you all!
You can also find this review on Goodreads.
In Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People, Bob Goff talks about exactly that: the practice of showing Christ-like love to everyone we meet, particularly those we find most difficult. Using anecdotes from his own life experiences as illustrations, Goff reveals simple insights about Jesus, love, faith, and living more like Christ. This is an adorable book with an important, uplifting, and challenging message. I was brought to tears time and again by Goff’s simple message and beautiful stories.
This book was a relatively easy read, as almost each chapter was a short story about something and someone in Goff’s life. He uses each of these tales to draw connections to God, treated like lessons learned and insights discovered. While some of these lessons grew repetitive throughout the book, I found that this did not take away from the book’s overall message. Goff’s stories are super engaging; you can tell they are about real people in real situations (although I’m still in awe over how Bob ended up in some of these places! He does lead a truly extraordinary life…). Several of the individual stories stood out to me personally, and I wouldn’t be surprised if other readers have the same experience. There are certain people and places that each of us can relate to, and this book offers up a variety of potential connections. In each tale, everyone is led back to the same central tenet of the work: Christ-like love for all.
The man telling all of these stories and sharing these insights sounds positively delightful. Goff’s voice is wonderfully accessible. The book reads as though he’s sat down next to you to share his story. He is at times humorous, at others deadly serious, and the emotion he’s experiencing is carried clearly in the text. I admit that at times I found him leaning toward stock proverbs (things that sound profound, but, when you get right down to it, are pretty basic truths.). These tended to appear in the more repetitive passages of the book. These at times felt cliche and took away from the rest of the chapter. However, as a whole, the style of writing in this book was superb.
In Everybody, Always, I found the message to be both simple and necessary. This book isn’t hiding a complicated directive, although the call to action isn’t easy. Goff sticks to his original thesis throughout the entire book: love everybody, always, and it’s as simple as that. This book may find itself shelved near texts of complicated theology, but I think it needs to be distinguished from those. Goff spends more time looking at Christ manifested in humanity than dissecting Bible verses. (Both of these practices are important for spiritual growth, of course. But I was pleased to find that this book fell on the “people” side of this distinction.)
This book isn’t an apologetic to the rest of the world, addressing topics on which Christians have opinions and beliefs. Instead, Goff is talking to Christ-followers, challenging them on nearly every page to put aside differences and love the “difficult” people, anyway. This is a voice we as the Church need to hear right now, and I am so happy to see this message entering into the current cultural “fray.”
To speak briefly of the aesthetics of this book, I find the cover to be absolutely gorgeous. It’s eye-catching and bright, which would make me want to pull it off the shelf in a bookstore or library.
I am definitely going to be recommending this book. My copy is actually already on its way to my mom. I think it would be an excellent read for fellow Christ-followers. It’s a good, quick read that should be a must for anyone pursuing an understanding of God’s love for the world. It’s a great book for people at different stages in their spiritual journeys and relationships with God, but in particular those who are seeking a simplified faith. As Bob says himself, “We don’t need to make faith easier, because it’s not; we need to make it simpler, because it is.”
I give a happy five stars to Everybody, Always.