Why You Should Love Everybody, Always

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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Why does Bob Goff say you should love everybody, always? Why should you treat everybody as if they were Jesus, even your enemies?

In his book Everybody, Always, Bob Goff explains that everyone you meet is Jesus so you must love everyone like you would Him. Goff says that God’s plan is simple and that’s to love everybody.

Keep reading for more on why you should love everybody, always.

Love Everybody, Always

When you get to heaven, rumor has it you’ll have a conversation with Jesus. Through this conversation, you’ll hear about the things you didn’t understand while you were alive. You’ll learn about the many ways Jesus came into your life, and your entire perspective of how you’ve lived will change. The most surprising thing you’ll learn is the many forms Jesus took and how many times you actually met Him. That’s why you should love everybody always, according to Bob Goff.

In anticipation of this conversation, you likely have a list of accomplishments you want to tout. You’ll talk about all of the good things you did for certain people, and you’ll hope it was enough. But what you’ll find out is that all people are Jesus. Everyone you meet is Jesus, so if you truly want to love Jesus, you must love everyone like you would Him. 

But there is more to it than that. Loving easy people is easy. Jesus intentionally puts people in the world that challenge your beliefs or safety or time. How you treat those people is the real measure of how well you love God. The people who are needy, poor, in jail, living less than moral lives, holding differing opinions, and living different lives are the ones through which you are meant to prove your faith in God’s love. 

Treat Everyone as if They Were Jesus

There are two types of people: the ones who will learn that the people they loved were Jesus and those who will realize the people they chose not to love were Jesus. You, like everyone, likely fall into the second category most of the time. And your intention was likely not to be mean or spiteful. If you’d known it was Jesus, you would have dropped everything to help. But you didn’t, and you let other things, like fear or your busy life, get in the way of showing love. 

Treating everyone as though they are Jesus is God’s plan for you. If you truly want to go deep in your faith and be with Jesus, you must treat everyone like they’re Jesus. It’s not easy, but when you become love, it gets a lot easier. You need to realize that when you give love away to everyone, you are acting in accordance with who God made you to be. You are doing it for God, not for yourself.

You don’t need to wait for a plan or a sign for who to help and how to do it. Love is the plan. Find people who need help. Seek out people on the fringe and give whatever love you can. Visit people in jail or hand out water to people who are thirsty. God’s plan is simple. Don’t complicate it with fears or confusion. Set the intention to love everybody, and you will be fulfilling your true purpose in life. Your conversation with Jesus will be one you can be proud of. 

Fill Your Bucket With Love

There’s a children’s book that centers around the concept that your life is a bucket, and you become whatever you put in the bucket. You may be thinking about what you want to put in your bucket so you can become that thing. But stop for a moment and ask yourself, “What could I fill my bucket with to make life good for the people around me?”

Becoming love means making God’s world a place where everyone can experience His love, not just you. You can fill your bucket up with parties and become popular. You can fill your bucket up with complaints and become an unhappy person. Or you can fill your bucket up with love and become God. Which bucket do you think serves more than just you?

Ask the people you love how your life is working for them. If they’re honest, you’ll understand what you need to put in your bucket to become love for them. Bob asked his family how his life worked for them and got a surprising answer. He’d always been impatient, but he never felt bothered by it. But his family did, so he decided to fill his bucket with patience. To hammer the matter home, he carried a bucket with him as a reminder. 

Bob Goff’s Example

One day, Bob Goff was leaving a sermon he’d just given at a church in Texas and was rushing to make it home in time for the Super Bowl. He drove to the rental car return and became stuck in a slow-moving line. He didn’t understand what was taking so long until he looked out the window. He saw the attendant working at a turtle’s pace. Twenty-five minutes and a missed flight later, he was ready to burst. Then, he noticed his bucket on the passenger seat. He decided to fill it with patience, and when he finally reached the front, instead of unloading a storm of annoyance on the worker, he complimented him and wished him well. 

Later, the same worker caught up to Bob and told him what a great sermon he’d given earlier that day. The man had been in the audience of one of several sermons Bob gave at the church. If Bob had acted the way he initially wanted to, the wise and benevolent man this worker had seen spreading God’s love would have fizzled. Bob may have released his frustration if he’d yelled at the man, but that conversation would not have worked for the man. It likely would have damaged him and made him lose faith.

You can pretend to be a wonderful person in front of an audience and tell yourself how much you love God and how deep your faith is. But if you step down from that pedestal and treat the people you believe don’t matter without grace, you know your faith is not where it needs to be. You’re not there yet with God. 

How you treat the people around you says a lot about who you are. You need to act in a way that works for others, and in doing so, you will ensure that your actions always work for you, too. The more love you give, the more you become love. How you deal with negativity and strife will dictate whether you stay stuck in one place or grow into your true self. God is not grading your performance or demanding perfection. He just wants you to fill your bucket with love so others will recognize Him when they see you. 

Why You Should Love Everybody, Always

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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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