We want people in our lives we can trust, confide in, and turn to when life gets tough—people who not only appreciate our gifts, but who are also fully aware of our flaws and failures, yet want to be with us anyway.
In I’d Like You More If You Were More Like Me, bestselling author John Ortberg shows us how to overcome obstacles and create the kind of deep, meaningful relationships we all crave—with God and with others. You’ll learn:
- how to recognize and respond to bids for connection
- how to get past your fear of intimacy
- how to sidestep common relationship pitfalls
- how to make God an active part of your everyday life
Whether you’re a man or a woman; whether you’re the life of the party or a wallflower; whether you’re a thinker or a feeler or a category not yet known to social science, you were made for connection.”
The book I’d Like You More If You Were More Like Me by John Ortberg is a principle-based work categorized in the genre of Christian living. It pursues the themes of intimacy, family, and practical love. Ortberg, through experience and research, walks the reader through many obstacles to intimacy, through learning what true intimacy is, and through ways to achieve true intimacy in every area of life.
Honestly, I feel like this whole book was enjoyable for me as a reader. This is the first book I’ve officially reviewed where I can find little to nothing to criticize. I laughed. I cried. I worried. I rejoiced. I learned. And I was able to apply. Ortberg named some of the big areas of difficulty for me in the area of intimacy, and God used this book to highlight some habits and ways of thinking that I’ve always known were bent but didn’t know how to make straight.
Still, for the sake of clarity and to avoid all the pitfalls of being vague, I will specifically name a few.
The first thing is hard, self-reflective questions. In several of the beginning chapters, Ortberg calls the reader to self-reflection concerning the “season of relationship” they’re in (e.g., “Do you have several people you could visit with little advance warning—and without apology?”), their perspective of those relationships (e.g., “Are you able to discuss differences of opinion without losing your sense of connectedness with one another?”), and even their use of technology (e.g., “Do you feel bummed when you forget to bring your cell phone into the bathroom?”). These questions brought me in and set me up to listen.
The second thing is the practical applications offered. With each obstacle to intimacy discussed, the chapter ended with hope, with “you are able to make this change/defeat this obstacle,” and Ortberg consistently brought the hope back to Christ’s example in His relationships with the disciples and God’s relationship with Israel, and then brought it closer to home with bringing in our relationship with Him. The truth ringing throughout the book is that true intimacy can be experienced with God, and it is His true intimacy that enables us to seek true intimacy with others. As we seek intimacy with God, how do we also practically seek intimacy with others? I think this aspect was the most important to me as a reader.
The third thing is the humor. Ortberg balanced the serious principles with bits of humor from his perspective and life experience, particularly from his marriage to his wife Nancy and some of his most embarrassing moments as a pastor, which made the seriousness much easier to digest. “A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down” truly applied here.
In light of all this, I would recommend this book to everybody…But, specifically, I would recommend this book to anyone who feels lonely or disconnected from the people in their lives, from themselves, and especially from the God who created it all.
About the Author:
“John Ortberg is the senior pastor at Menlo Church. John’s teaching centers around how faith in Christ can impact our everyday lives with God. He has written books on spiritual formation including, The Life You’ve Always Wanted, Who is This Man?, The Me I Want To Be, Soul Keeping, and most recently, All The Places To Go. John teaches around the world at conferences and churches.
Born and raised in Rockford, Illinois, John graduated from Wheaton College with a degree in psychology. He holds a Master of Divinity and doctorate degree in clinical psychology from Fuller Seminary, and has done post-graduate work at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Prior to joining Menlo Church, John served as teaching pastor at Chicago’s Willow Creek Community Church.
John is a member of the Board of Trustees at Fuller Seminary, and is on the board for the Dallas Willard Center for Spiritual Formation. He has served on the board of Christianity Today International. Now that their children are grown, John and his wife Nancy enjoy surfing the Pacific to help care for their souls. He can be followed on Twitter (@johnortberg) and is on Facebook.”
*A complimentary copy of this book was given to me by Tyndale Press.