How can living for others lead to fake faith? How can you ensure that your faith is real?
In his book Everybody, Always, Bob Goff discusses the dangers of living for others. Goff says that if you are trying to prove yourself to others rather than acting of your own accord, then your faith is also for others and not for God.
Keep reading to learn why Goff says you should stop living for others.
Stop Living For Others
You like to make your own decisions. When someone tells you what to do, you may feel manipulated and resist them. But when someone tells you who you are, you likely try to live up to that image. The same is true for others. Show people who they are, and they will be inspired to become those people.
The problem with living for others is that the result is often inauthentic. For instance, if someone says you need to earn a college degree or have children or get a certain job, you might listen if you respect and love the person. You may even follow through, but your heart’s not in it because the decision isn’t yours. You become merely a compliant actor, not an active participant in your life.
Fake vs. Real Faith
Your faith is a lot like your behavior. People will tell you what you should believe, how you should behave, or what you need to do in the name of God. They say you shouldn’t indulge in sinful behavior, watch certain films, or read certain books. They insist that you devote yourself to charitable acts and spread God’s word to everyone you see. They tell you to prove your faith in God by praying daily and showing sinners the way to salvation. But if you follow others’ rules regarding your relationship with God, your faith is no longer real faith.
Real faith is forever. False faith is temporary. Real faith acknowledges that God knows who you are and will provide situations and guidance to help you become that person. He did this many times in the Bible. God helped Moses see that he was a leader, and that’s what Moses became. He showed Noah that he was a sailor, and Noah became a sailor. God will help you find your path to become who you are, and when you commit to your faith and begin to live like God, you must do the same for others. You only need to point people in the right direction by telling them who they are, not how to become that person. Give people faith by helping them see who they can be, and God will do the rest.
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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