In I’d Like You More if You Were More like Me, John Ortberg analyzes what true intimacy means and how we can grow deeper in our relationships with God and others. In the first five chapters, the author discusses why intimacy is important along with common misconceptions and challenges of establishing intimacy in our daily interactions. Ortberg demonstrates using biblical and everyday examples that the human urge for deep, heartfelt connections is part of God’s design for us. However, due to our fallen nature, we often choose to fulfill our own selfish desires and ambitions thereby failing to honour those around us as intimacy is a two-way road. Moreover, our culture and society try to convince us to find intimacy and connectedness through illegitimate substitutes such as adulterous relationships and unbridled consumerism. In the remaining chapters, Ortberg touches on how intimacy should be pursued in different situations and offers practical advice on changes we can make to improve those relationships. One chapter that was particularly challenging for me involves how suffering builds intimacy. The author states that times of suffering can become opportunities in which we can extend empathy and foster openness to those experiencing sickness and loss. Ortberg points to how Christ came to encounter and transform the lives of rejected, shamed people as the prime example of how we can also approach those yearning for intimacy in their most turbulent times.
I would recommend this book to all Christians as we witness our relationships grow increasingly disconnected despite being in a digitally connected era. The root of our disconnectedness lies in our sinful nature which cause us to be concerned of our own interests instead of those around us. We are often afraid to connect with others as we fear how people will view of our real selves while also fearing what we will have to deal with if others reveal their deepest thoughts and feelings. However, Christ came to remove the shame, guilt, and disgrace of sin and restore our relationship with God. Thus, it is only when we are intimately connected to Christ that we can establish peaceful, thriving relationships with those around us. Intimacy will always be a struggle as we battle our fleshly desires but God’s love fills and compels us to extend grace and mercy to everyone despite the costs, risks, and dangers of being vulnerable to fellow sinners.
In compliance with Federal Trade Commission guidelines, I received a review copy from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for a book review.