Bob Goff: If We Avoid Being Identified With People We Disagree With, We’ve Traded in God’s Brand of Love for Popularity.

Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”

MARK 1:38

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

A few of my best friends happen to be creative geniuses. Think Einstein with a paintbrush or a Moleskine making word-pictures. I’ve learned a lot about the power of well-told stories from them, but even better, I’ve watched them live beautiful lives. They’ve taught me we’re all constantly telling a story with the things we share online, the people we hang out with, the way we engage or react to the events around us, and the words we use. Brands are what cowboys put on cattle, not what we call our love. The way they engage their lives is more like a watermark. It’s something you only really see when you hold it up to the light.

These days, I pay more attention to people’s patterns than their statements. Some are like an all-night television show—all theology all the time. Others focus on business and making money. We each have our own metrics for how we define success and contribution to the world.

Have you noticed that someone will say something a certain group thinks is great but another group will tear it to shreds? Or maybe someone will have a bad day, and their tribe will send love and support for all to see, but those who have a different worldview are slow to encourage. They might even be a little combative or give off the impression that they are quietly delighting in the headwinds someone else is facing. It goes beyond these things.

Jesus invited us to walk in a different way. He wasn’t concerned with who people saw Him associate with. He was an image bearer, not an image maker. He was seen with religious leaders and loose women at the same events. He didn’t care about money or status. He cared about the state of people’s hearts. He showed us how to tear down the walls that divide us.

If we avoid being identified with people we disagree with, we join the crowds. We’ve traded in God’s brand of love for popularity. We’re just one more voice calling for Barabas. Be like Jesus instead. Stand in silence if you need to, but offer words of hope to all, whether you agree with them or not. Jesus was more concerned with seeing other people than managing how they saw Him.

What would be different if you cared less about your image and more about loving others?

Bob Goff: Live in Grace, Walk in Love

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