We take a look at I'd Like You More if You Were More like Me, the new book by the bestselling by John Ortberg.
Some of the loneliest moments of my life have been in a room full of people.
The mere physical proximities of other bodies is not enough: hunger in never more acute than when near food, after all. These acute storms of loneliness are a growing phenomenon, and are having a measureable effect on people in the UK, including:
30% increase in heart disease and stroke risk
61% of people being uncomfortable admitting loneliness with a friend or family member
costing the UK £32bn a year in lost productivity from isolated communities
A notable change is certainly modern technology. The internet has distracted us from finding closeness. Not only do we spend more time face-to-screen, rather than face-to-face, but the pervasive animosity found online has coloured our perceptions of others. We are now at a point where many people echo what John Steinbeck wrote in Of Mice and Men, that “Maybe ever’body in the whole [...] world is scared of each other.”
We don’t relate to people like we used to, if we relate to people at all.
But there is a way forward.
I'd Like You More if You Were More like Me is John Ortberg’s response to the need for closeness. In it he explores how our distances and fear of intimacy inhibits us, writing that “Although we crave it, intimacy is a scary concept for a lot of people. [...] I think we’re afraid of being hurt.” Getting over that paradox of need for, and fear of, intimacy requires a big leap. The kind with a run-up, lots of mental preparation, practice, persistence, and a good coach.
A coach who knows exactly what people need.
The thing is, we’re made for relationships. Throughout the Bible, relationships are made, or used metaphorically, to help us know how to grow closer to God. “It is not good for man to be alone” was God’s reasoning for creating Eve; Song of Songs is a poetic expression of pure intimacy; and the relationship between Christ and the Church is likened to a bride and her groom.
The relationships for which we were made not only provide an antidote to loneliness, but a blueprint for how we can connect with God. That is the heart of John Ortberg’s newest book. He wants people to not only be able to make meaningful and close connections with other people, but to see how those connections can help us understand different ways of discovering intimacy with God: all of which he puts much more eloquently, writing that:
“God uses our relationships with other people to teach us how to love him. The more we pursue intimacy in our other relationships, the more we see and understand God’s incredible, audacious love for us”
I'd Like You More if You Were More like Me by John Ortberg is due for release on the 13th October 2017. Order your copy today.
September 13th, 2017 - Posted & Written by Aaron Lewendon