Love Everybody. Always. | TBN

Love Everybody. Always.

Monday, July 29, 2019 / TBN Staff

Bob Goff:  Setting up practical boundaries (guardrails) to avoid conflict during family gatherings.


Summer is a season filled with get-togethers and celebrations. Fun, right?


If we’re honest, sometimes when we realize who will be attending these events, we stress over possible awkward conversations or confrontations with the more difficult people in our lives. 


The initial excitement for the summer BBQ turns into dread because of anticipation of what could happen or what happened at the last event. 


Bob Goff discusses some practical guardrails that we can put in place during these celebrations, making it more feasible for us to Love Everybody, Always, also the title of his latest book. 


1.    Know the difference between your “stuff” and their “stuff.” 


Sometimes, we take on others’ dilemmas as our own. 


While this may come from a well-meaning place, thinking that we have a helpful solution to offer, it may not be the appropriate time or place to have the discussion—especially in a crowd. 


It’s also worthwhile to evaluate, for the health of the relationship, if the issue is something that you need to speak into, ever. 


It may be that the other person has a support team in place for the particular issue, and the best way to love them, in this moment, is not to offer another opinion. 


Discernment is key. Begin by asking God: God show me how to bring You the most glory in this situation. How can I best show this person Your love? Will You please help me?


2.    Create “beautiful guardrails.” 


Goff suggests that these guardrails (boundaries) could take on a variety of forms. He encourages viewers to “mix it up and see what works” and to communicate them clearly in ways that would be most effective to those involved. 


This could be as simple as saying, “Hey, let’s talk about something else,” or a quick aside conversation: “If we could not talk about ______ today, I’d really appreciate it.”


The goals: everyone feels respected and on the same page, as much as possible. 


3.    Establish a “no-drama” mindset


Aligning our intentions before even setting foot into an event can be a difference-maker. 


Goff mentions that he and his wife “Sweet Maria” aim to have a “100% kindness, 0% drama” approach. 


            A prayer like that found in Psalm 19:14 (NIV) could be a great place to start: 


            “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.


4.    Self-reflect


Spend time reflecting on you


--Why did I react that way?

--What upset me about that situation? 

--Is there something that I can do differently this time around? 


Goff also suggests that we can work towards establishing new habits for ourselves, in these situations. 


This practical set of advice is not aimed simply at making the next summer event less dreadful or more enjoyable but paving the way towards first steps of really loving those more difficult people in our lives. 


Depending on the specific relationship, these steps may be just the tip of the iceberg in restoring relationships. It’s quite possible that steps towards biblical confrontation, forgiveness,  and reconciliation may need to happen---check out Matthew 18 and seek wise counsel on how to do this well. 


The journey to loving people more like Jesus can be a great adventure this summer, as we strive towards what He asks of us:


“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 (NIV)

Watch the full Praise episode with Bob Goff here: