This short book by Tim Keller is one of the most challenging books I have ever read. You can read it in one sitting but you will probably want to re-read it because it makes your heart ache and your head hurt!
Keller asks this question: “If we trust in Christ, what should our hearts be like?“. It is a big question and one I struggle with.
This is a book about the heart, which is why it is so challenging. It is also about the human ego, pride and how we view ourselves. He roots this book in 1 Corinthians 3v21-4:7 – “No pride, No boasting”. Keller delves in to show that our view of self isn’t the key to heart transformation, the key is looking to Jesus. He says
“A truly Gospel-humble person is not a self-hating person or self-loving person…[they are] a self-forgetful person.”
This is a person who doesn’t find their identity from other people or from the world, but they find it completely in Jesus.
I think this little book helps us get to the heart of the human problem – what/who we love. This will determine how we act, how we view ourselves and how we view Jesus. It is about forgetting ourselves and looking outward, which is hard when everything screams at you – “There is a hero inside yourself, just look deeply enough and you will find it”.
If you are struggling with your identity, with your self-esteem or you feel worthless and always striving for approval, then this little book is for you. I would read it with a friend and encourage one another with it because it is a hard book to digest! I am still digesting it!
Here is a little bit from the book:
“‘What Paul is looking for, what Madonna is looking for, what we are all looking for, is an ultimate verdict that we are important and valuable. We look for that ultimate verdict every day in all the situations and people around us. And that means that every single day, we are on trial.’
And the way to battle this is:
‘He says that it is the Lord who judges him. It is only His opinion that counts… Paul is saying that in Christianity, the verdict leads to the performance. It is not the performance that leads to the verdict.’
‘Because he loves me and he accepts me, I do not have to do things just to build up my resume. I do not have to do things to make me look good. I can do things for the joy of doing them.'”
If you have read this book, please tell me how you found it! What challenged you? How has it helped you?
You can buy this book from here: The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness