I wouldn’t say that I hold grudges, but I definitely remember that one time that girl didn’t come to that party in elementary school and it hurt my feelings and there is no way I’m inviting her to my kid’s 1st birthday party. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve cared less about these things, but probably just for the sake of stress and space in my brain. Nationally-acclaimed author Bob Goff does it because that’s how Jesus would want his children to live. He coined the phrase, “Live in grace, walk in love” and recently, I got the opportunity to hear Bob gives some tips on achieving that lifestyle.
Oh, and just a note. He totally wants me to refer to him as Bob. He introduces himself by saying “Hi! I’m Bob!” and giving each person he meets a hug. And he’s way taller than I thought. Just telling you.
I saw Bob Goff speak for the first time at MOMcon 2015. As the only male speaker in the program, I had no idea why this guy was hanging out in a hotel full of women. He’s either insanely smart or just insane. I quickly figured out that not only is he insanely smart, I would learn a lot from him and his book.
As a lawyer, Bob Goff didn’t set out to write a book about love and Jesus. However, he did want to build a school in Uganda for the under-privileged children in that area. And the publisher offered to build the school, so he wrote the book. The book, “Love Does,” illustrates how love is an action, not just a feeling.
After seeing Bob at MOMcon, I picked up the book from the library. It was amazing. Each chapter was a story that illustrated love as an action. It may have been Bob’s outreach to others, or the way someone else loved him.
I recently had a chance to see Bob speak at a local church and felt the same uplifted feeling that I did after MOMcon and reading “Love Does.”
Bob knows a little thing about living in grace. While visiting a friend’s shelter several hours from his home, Bob’s laptop, containing a 65,000 word draft of his second book, was stolen. And there was no back up.
“Live in grace! Walk in Love!” Bob said he reminded himself. Maybe next time, he’ll invest in an automatic cloud back-up solution. Ouch.
6 tips from Bob Goff to “Live in grace, Walk in love.”
Be available. Bob doesn’t send people to voicemail…he answers the call every time. He also has his phone number printed inside of his book. Therefore, he gets a lot of calls. When he answers the phone, he said many times people say, “Bob?” and he responds, “Yeah,” and then say, “Bob?” and he responds, “Yeah.” And, he said, many times, they just laugh.
- Don’t put people in boxes. Just meet people, be curious about them. Don’t be distracted.
- Keep your eyes on God. At one men’s conference where Bob spoke, he brought with him a seven-foot, inflatable, remote control bass. During one point during his talk, he had a young boy propel the the bass off an upper balcony over the heads of the unsuspecting men. As it drifted over the crowd, Bob told them to keep their eyes on him and ignore the flying fish. It was hard. We get distracted by seven-foot flying fish, and work, and pop culture, and other things. It’s important to focus on God to live in grace and walk in love.
- “If you want to do something awesome for God, do it for his kids.” Do something for someone in need.
- Bob said he once spent a lot of time going to Chuck E. Cheese’s with his kids. Over the course of several years, he amassed a pile of tickets. One trip he decided he would redeem them all. Thinking he would get the best prize, he was shocked when he learned that a pencil is something like 1,000 tickets (He may have been exaggerating.) “What we do for God…it’s like getting three more tickets at Chuck E. Cheese. They aren’t worth anything! Stop counting the things you do for God. Just love.”
- Don’t be hard on yourself. Bob said even on our worst day, Jesus sees us as beloved. He just want to play catch with us like a father does with his son or daughter. If we drop the ball, he just comes a little closer.
- “What if I said to my son, ‘I want to play catch with you,’ and he said ‘I’ll just study you in Wednesday,'” Bob said.
- Meet people where they are.
- Bob said when his daughter got married, it cost roughly $200 a plate….and the invite list just kept getting longer. There were many people they had to invite, but didn’t necessarily want there…especially not at that cost. He said it’s much like church. We invite people, but we do’t necessarily want them to come. “People walk into our houses of worship and they know they aren’t welcome. They won’t want to come back.”
It’s not easy to live in grace and walk in love, but Bob said if we keep our eyes focused on Jesus, we can get there. I’m trying. I’m trying to listen to hear, not listen to respond. I’m trying to help while respecting boundaries. I’m trying to show love to those who don’t always return the love.
Live in grace.
Walk in love.
To learn more about Bob Goff or his book, “Love Does,” visit the Bob Goff website. And if you meet him, expect a hug and take a selfie.