Bob Goff shares stories from his life that have helped him understand what it truly means to love everybody the way Jesus loved them...without fear, insecurity, or restriction. Following Christ means more than just putting a toe in the water when it comes to loving others. It means grabbing your knees and doing a cannonball! And, as Jesus revealed, it means loving even the difficult ones.
When you get caught up in a life of following Jesus, the old categories of "good guys" and "bad guys" stop working for you. You realize that not only does everybody have a story, but also that God wants us to love them too: no matter what. Yes, this can be kind of scary, but that's why we learn people's stories. It makes the creepy people God wants us to love a lot less scary and frees us to actually reach out them right where they are.
Shame occurs when, because you've been hurt by others in the past, you armor-up, vowing, "That's never going to happen to me again!" As a result, shame produces fear, suspicion, and isolation. When it comes to loving the people in your orbit that you might find a "little creepy," instead of judging them, consider where they've come from and what they've been through. You just might be in a position to catch people on the bounce.
One of the things that gets in the way of us connecting with God is our self-sufficiency. Even if we follow all the rules, we can still miss God if we're doing it all by our own strength. We are most open to God when we are needy, busted, and broken. God can't lavish his grace on us if we don't think we have any needs.
Whatever you fill your bucket with, that's what you'll become. Fill it with arguments, and you'll become a lawyer. Fill it with love, and you'll become love. You can fill your bucket with all sorts of stuff that will help you love others, or you can fill it with all sorts of negative stuff that will get in your way.
There's a difference between learning about how to do something and actually taking a step to do it. Plan how you are going to love everybody, always. This includes your friends, family, and acquaintances, but it also includes the difficult people you don't normally get along with, who might be called your "enemies."