#Challenges of Likes: Discovering Intimacy

Sunday,February 5, 2017


My friends tell me I have an intimacy problem.  But they don’t really know me.”

—Garry Shandling


#unintended negative consequences

The more time and energy invested in social media the more we lose on real human intimacy.  We may be “connected” with many people through various social media links, but we are at the same time detaching from interpersonal relationships.


“We have to make sure technology is enhancing our relationships, not replacing them.”

—Craig Groeschel


#changing understanding of friendship

Definition of friendship: shared interests, common bonds, enjoy personal company, etc.


Social media understanding of friendship:  followers on Twitter or Facebook.


Family relationship changing (Stats Canada):

  • Workers are spending less time with family than they did 20 years ago.
  • In 1986, workers spent, on average, 4.2 hours, or 250 minutes, engaged in various activities with their spouse, their children or other family members. The nature of these activities varied, and could have included helping the children with their homework, watching television with their spouse and having dinner as a family. Nearly 20 years later, by 2005, this average number of hours had dropped to 3.4 hours, or 206 minutes, an average decline of about 45 minutes.
  • Time spent alone has been continually increasing for the last 20 years
  • (U.S. studies) average American has 338 Facebook friends but has only 2 close friends
  • 25% of Americans have 0 close friends; no one to call on for help


#immediate affirmation addiction (number of likes)

Losing the benefits of the motivation (from feeling alone) for developing real human friendship, real intimacy, with God and other people.


“We’re living for Likes, but we’re longing for love.”

—Craig Groeschel


#ability to control friendship on our terms

Social media allows us to control friendships as to the “who” and “how” from an online distance.


John 13:1-17, p. 763

Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus.


Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God.  So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.


When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”


Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”


“No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”


Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”


Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!”


Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.”


After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing?  You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.  I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.  I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message.  Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.


#put down the phone and pick up the towel

Get real; get close; get humble; demonstrate love.


John 13:34-35, p. 763

“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.”


Hebrews 10:24-25, p. 851

“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.  And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another.” 


“That’s how we will know if technology is in its proper place in our lives:  by how well we love one another.  It’s hard to wash someone’s feet with a phone in your hand.”

—Craig Groeschel


#power of presence

Philippians 2:5-8, p. 831

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”


Matthew 18:20, p. 695

“For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” 


“God didn’t shout his love from heaven.  He showed his love on earth.”

—Craig Groeschel

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