Who Are You? Finding Your Authentic Self With God

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Everybody Always" by Bob Goff. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Are you on a journey to finding your authentic self with God? Do you feel like you’ve lost your way?

In the book Everybody, Always, Bob Goff discusses the struggle that you may experience when trying to find your authentic self with God. Goff provides advice for you while you’re on your journey of self-discovery.

Keep reading for Bob Goff’s advice on finding your authentic self.

Finding Your Authentic Self

If someone asked you who you were, would you know how to answer? Would you answer honestly or let your pride call the shots? Many of us like to pretend we’re different than we actually are. And many of us do this when we express our faith and relationship with God. 

You know you’ve lost your way with God when having a certain kind of faith becomes more important than the faith itself. God is always trying to guide you in the direction that helps you find your authentic self. He provides circumstances that allow you to see where you are with Him and what that says about who you’re becoming or need to become. But when you fake your relationship with God, you close the door to His guiding light. 

The problem is your words express a certain image that your actions don’t live up to. You pretend to be with God, but your ego is really driving your behavior. You’re not becoming the person God wants you to be. You’re not becoming love. To truly be with God, you need to be honest about where you are in your faith and who you are in the moment. You have an open invitation from God to swap out your former self and become the person He knows you to be. Your authentic self is always waiting for you, but you must become love if you want to achieve it. 

When you are truly becoming love, you know that the most important way to be with God is by showing love to others, even people who are difficult to love. You stop moving through the world believing that you are the center of it. You stop forcing your opinions on others and give them grace and compassion instead. You stop merely seeing what someone else is going through and start being with them in their pain. Becoming love is the only way to truly know who you are because when you start to love others freely, you become aligned with your true identity—a representation of God’s love

This is what God wants from you. As you start the work of bringing others into your grace, God provides you with more grace to give. You’ve been granted the opportunity to live in this world and become love. Everything that happens in your life is a chance God has granted you to become your true self. You don’t need to waste time wondering who you are or arguing with others about your differences. You just need to open your arms, and God will show you who you are and where you need to go. 

Who Are You Becoming?

To continue your journey in becoming love, two important questions to ask yourself are, “Who am I becoming, and where do I want to go?” The answer you seek may or may not be an actual location, but the purpose of going to wherever you want to go should satisfy the answer to the first question—love. When you get to where you want to go, the person you find there will be a version of you growing closer to God. 

Don’t limit your responses to places you believe you can get to easily. Really think about who you need to become to grow more in your faith. Even if the emotional state or physical location seems hard and impossible to arrive at, set your intention to get there. God is your tour guide on your journey to love, and when God is your guide, you know you can always trust the path He leads you down. 

If it’s a difficult path, you might stumble along the way. Don’t worry about it. Focusing too much on where you step hinders your ability to see what’s happening around you. Commit to following God through the difficult terrain of your life without caution. If you stumble, you’ll fall into God. He will help you regain your balance and continue moving forward. The unsteady path is the only way to grow in your faith. If faith were like a scooter ride down a sidewalk, your journey would be quick and easy. You wouldn’t need to grow because there would be no obstacles to overcome. 

You, like everyone else, likely believe that action equals progress, which is not wholly wrong. Approving of Jesus’s message is not the same as living the way Jesus lived. But sometimes becoming love means slowing down so you make sure you’re always following Jesus, not dragging Him behind you. Be patient with the process and your progress. It doesn’t matter how fast you get there. Your growth in your faith does not have an endpoint. Your task is to continue to be led by God’s love and eventually be able to stumble less often.

You can also be a guide for others along their journeys. Ask the people around you where they want to go and who they want to become, and then help them get there. They don’t need to be reminded of their past problems of failings. They need you to show them a path full of hope and love and help them see how far they’ve come every now and then. 

The Last Step Is Letting Go

If you want to become love, you must let go of the person you’ve been up until now. What bothers you in the world? Who have you been avoiding? What have you been doing to play it safe with people? Stop all that now and reach out to someone you’re afraid of or don’t understand. Call them or send them a message, and give them love. 

This process of finding your authentic self won’t be easy. You will be humbled. You will be uncomfortable. You will receive backlash or pushback from the people you’re trying to love and others in your life. Acknowledge the difficulties and keep moving forward. Believe in your guide and be not afraid. You will grow beyond your wildest imagination and you will get closer to God. 

Practice your love daily. Stop being a spectator and become a player. When you stop stumbling as much, look around you to see how far you’ve come. Show others how far they’ve come. Then, look at yourself and marvel at who you’ve become. You won’t see your old self anymore. All you’ll see is love. 

Who Are You? Finding Your Authentic Self With God

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Bob Goff's "Everybody Always" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full Everybody Always summary:

  • How to live your life like Jesus lived his
  • Why you need to open yourself up to God's love and give love to others
  • How to deepen your faith by focusing on love rather than showing that you "agree" with God

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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