Bob Goff: Acquaintances Will Know Us for What We’ve Done. Friends Will Remember Us for How We Loved

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.


Here’s a page from Bob Goff’s book of daily reflections, Live in Grace, Walk in Love:

It’s always a little strange to hear someone introduce a person by reading a long biography at an event. Bios like this are usually lists of the most impressive things they’ve done, credentials they have, and recognition they’ve received. The idea is to tell people why the speaker is qualified, why they deserve our attention for the next twenty or thirty minutes, and why they are an authority we should trust on a subject. But I always wish the bios sounded more like something a friend would write. I wish they sounded more like a wedding toast.

When friends describe us, they share stories of how we dropped everything to be with them when they lost someone they couldn’t imagine life without. They usually slip in an embarrassing story of a mistake we made during a time in our lives we’re still trying to forget, and they always talk about how well we loved the people around us. You don’t hear many highlights from their résumé and their education or degrees or title. You just hear about love and friendship.

Acquaintances will know us for what we did. They’ll know about the nonprofit we started or the award we received. They might even know about our reputation for being kind and gracious. None of this is bad, of course. These are stories about our lives. They just don’t have the same weight as stories from our lives. Friends will remember us for how we loved. They’ll be impressed by our accomplishments only because they know the heart behind our actions.

Keep in mind, we’ll be known for our opinions, but we’ll be remembered for our love. I can think of no better introduction, no better bio, than for people to say our greatest expression of love in the world was that we were a faithful friend.

What expression of friendship have you received this week?

Bob Goff: Live in Grace, Walk in Love

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