How is it already Wednesday? Oy! This week has been busy and I completely forgot to post my book review on Monday. You forgive me, right? :) In July I read Love Does, by Bob Goff, as a part of my blogger book club, and here’s the review below.
What was the book about?
Love Does is a collection of stories from Bob Goff, a man who lives each day with whimsy and a passion to not just love, but to show it. Bob writes like he probably would be talking to you across the table at a coffee shop– very conversational and engaging. Each chapter relates to a lesson he has learned through experiencing and living out the love of God. He has had some pretty amazing experiences and wild journeys, but keeps it simple and his main point is that Jesus did stuff. He didn’t just talk, he did.
Did you enjoy the book? Why? Why not?
I liked the book. It was a feel-good read, and I flew through it pretty quickly as the stories were all short and entertaining. I would give this book 4 stars. It really gave me a lot to think about, but there were a few things that rubbed me the wrong way.
I’ll start with the good, which most of it was. Bob reinforces through his stories that love doesn’t just feel, talk or learn — love does. His examples were good reminders and made me examine my life and see where I need to let go of trying and just do. Stop talking about the problems, and start fixing. His whimsical and joyful approach to life is inspiring, and since reading it I’ve tried to make a conscious effort not to take myself so seriously. This world is full of opportunities to show grandiose love, I just need to step out and do it.
I also loved his stories about Uganda, how he freed a few kids in the prison and fought injustices for the kids there. In fact, I wanted to read more, some background on how he got involved, more about his ministry with the kids and how more people like me can help. Maybe his next book he can devote to his humanitarian work? (He listed his personal phone number on the back page, so maybe I’ll make that recommendation.:)
Now for a few things I struggled with. At times I thought maybe the title should be “Love & Money Do.” I would LOVE to do all of the things he’s been able to do, but the fact of the matter is most of them cost money and time, and I had a hard time applying some of the stories to my life. For example, pranking a friend with a $400 hotel bill was a little lost on me. I would never dream of doing that to my friends, and have a hard time relating to someone who does.
Secondly, I had a problem with his theology, or lack of. I felt like he had the opportunity and platform to share the gospel with his engaging stories and captive audience, but was disappointed when he referred to Jesus almost like a character in one of his stories — a little vague and kind of fictional. I get that he wanted to keep people engaged and not sound preachy, but why follow Jesus more than any other good guy? I wouldn’t know from this book.
I also struggled with his chapter “Bible Doing” a little bit. He encourages people to get off the sidelines and join Jesus in the fight for good. Amen! I wholeheartedly agree that Christians need to spend more time actually living out the principles in the Bible than spending time studying and arguing over them. I have no problem with putting judgmental hypocritical Christians in their place. But I do have a problem with him bashing Bible study. He called it “stalking God” to study the Bible. Part of loving God and growing in a relationship with him is reading what he wrote. It would be like my husband leaving me notes around the house and ignoring them. I don’t need to read what he says, I’m just going to love him! If we are to follow Jesus, we need to know what he said and follow his example. And one of the examples he set was studying the Scriptures! He was well-versed in the Old Testament books and quoted Scripture all the time. I totally get what Bob was talking about, but felt it was a little extreme.
Would you recommend this book?
Yes, I would. Just take it with a grain of salt and don’t stop reading the Bible. :)
What’s your favorite quote from the book?
“And when each of us looks back at all the turns and folds God has allowed in our lives, I don’t think it looks like a series of folded-over mistakes and do-overs that have shaped our lives. Instead, I think we’ll conclude in the end that maybe we’re all a little like human origami and the more creases we have, the better.”
“You don’t need a plan; you just need to be present.”
Have you read this book and want to participate? Write a review in your blog and post it back here, or comment below and tell me what you thought.
Next up: August’s book is The Little Women Letters.