“Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World” by Bob Goff | Book Review

Welcome to CoCo’s Chitchat! Today I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the book Love Does by Bob Goff.

I usually include the blurb at the start of my reviews, but the blurb for this one is quite lengthy and pretty much says it all. XD I’ll do my best to say more than just what’s on the back of the book.

Love Does is basically a collection of stories of crazy things that have happened during Bob Goff’s life, and what those experiences have taught him about life with Jesus. There are thirty-one short chapters, one per story, each starting with a statement such as: “I used to want to fix people, but now I just want to be with them” (chapter one). Or, my favorite: “I used to think the best teachers wore tweed jackets and smoked pipes, but now I know they flip over and leak” (chapter 19). (You’ll have to read the book to learn what he means by that!)

The stories contained in this book are absolutely incredible–most of them I wouldn’t want to live through personally, but I’m glad someone like Bob Goff had the courage and availability to endure the adventure and then write about them! Some of them are quite funny, and I remember laughing out loud at least once. Others are downright ridiculous, but Bob always has a great truth to share as a result.

Because each chapter is short, it’s easy to pick up and read just a little at a time. It’s also really easy to say “just one more story.” I ended up taking my time with the first half and then binging the end. I wouldn’t say it’s meant to be a devotional book, but the 31 chapters are split up nicely if you wanted to take a whole month to go through it. (There is a study guide you can purchase separately as well, but I didn’t end up using it as I think it’s geared more toward group study).

Just like the subtitle suggests, this book will show the reader how to find God even in the ordinariness of life. We may see an inconvenience or an obstacle, but someone living with their eyes open (and palms up) will see an opportunity in everything. There’s a hidden aspect of fun and adventure (or “whimsy,” as Bob would say) in everything, and there aren’t many limits to what love will do.

Speaking of love, I would have expected a book titled “Love Does” to be more focused on that theme, and as I was reading I found myself wondering how the title applied. Some stories are more obvious than others, but even the ones that seem out of place still have a lesson to teach about passion. As followers of Jesus, we aren’t meant to be passive or to let life just “happen” to us. We are meant to be intentional with the way we live our lives–intentional with people, intentional with time, intentional with purpose and mission. That doesn’t mean we can’t “go with the flow” sometimes, because that would ruin the adventure, but it does mean that even in spontaneity, we keep our eyes and ears open and ready to learn.

While it is told from a Christian perspective, Love Does could be read by any individual, whether or not they claim to be a Christian, and the reader would still benefit from its life wisdom. There aren’t many Bible verses (if any), or any kind of preachy statements telling you how you should live your life. Just fun, lighthearted stories with an application that Bob learned from said story. Perhaps I would have learned more if I had taken notes, but honestly, I don’t even remember much of the application points. Just the stories XD

I don’t know Bob Goff personally, but just reading short bits of his life reveals a lot about him. I can tell he isn’t afraid to go after what he wants, and he lives his life from an identity of freedom. If something interests him, he goes for it. He doesn’t let fear or the “what ifs” stop him from enjoying life. I think he did a great job sharing that freedom through this book, because he first and foremost lives it out. Anyone with that many stories to tell has to be a pretty fun guy. XD His lightheartedness is contagious and will make you wonder why he does what he does. As Donald Miller writes in the foreword: “There’s no explanation for a man who can love this well save God. I think Bob Goff knows God, and I think God’s love flows through him.” Reading this book will make you wonder how your own life could change if you simply started putting love into action more.

All in all, Love Does is a fun read that will help you find joy in all areas of life–whether you decide to sail across the ocean in the Transpac Race, sit outside the dean’s office for a whole week to get into law school, or just help out a young (super over-the-top) guy propose to his girlfriend by offering your porch, boat, and imagination for free. No matter what you do, do it in love. Because love is more than just a feeling. Love does.

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Let me know in the comments if you’ve either read this book, or would like to now that you’ve read this review!

In Christ now and always,

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