LOVE Everyone, Always!

One of my favorite books this past year was Bob Goff's book: Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People.

Bob is one of the happiest people you’ll ever meet because he lives generously. 

Midway through his book, he provides a great metaphor that reflects this reality:

When I was in elementary school, we put on the classic play Peter Pan. I tried out for the role of Peter, but I couldn’t sing or dance or fly, so I didn’t get it. (Actually, I can fly, but don’t tell anyone.) I did get a part, though. My official title was Tree #4. I had no lines. I didn’t even get a name, like maple or birch or oak. My role was to just stand there, hold my arms out above my shoulders, wiggle my fingers, and look like a tree. 

There was no mention of my name in the program they handed out. There were no bouquets of roses given to me on opening or closing night. I didn’t get a backstage room with a star or leaf on the door, and there was no cast party celebrating my performance. You know what? I loved it! 

Here’s why: I knew what was needed; my role was clear, and it wasn’t too complicated. In short, I knew what I was there to do.

Many of us don’t. Something changes for many of us after we leave elementary school. We try to make ourselves the hero or the victim of every story. Something goes wrong, and we want to be the victim; something goes right, and we want to make ourselves the hero. It doesn’t seem to matter which it is as long as we make it all about us. But if we make everything about us, it’ll never be about Jesus. What I’m coming to realize is we’re not the heroes, and we’re not the victims of all the stories happening around us. We’re just Tree #4. 

Jesus knew some of us would be tempted to tell everyone who would listen about all the things we’d done. He talked about religious people standing on street corners, but He was really talking about guys like me. Maybe He was talking about you too. He said if we made a big deal about what we’d done now, hoping to get someone to clap, we would have had our reward. We don’t need to be the hero in everyone’s story. Jesus already landed that part. When you do something for Jesus while He appears to be hungry or sick or thirsty or strange or naked or in jail, don’t mess it up by making a big deal out of it. 

I once heard someone say, “If you want applause, join the circus.” If you want to talk about it with Jesus forever, keep it quiet.

This book inspires a transforming revolution by loving everyone everywhere. Why not start today by reflecting God's generosity with your words, your time and your resources? You could express this kind of love to anyone who crosses your path on today's journey of grace. Let's be Tree #4 and let Jesus be the hero!

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