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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Self-Esteem, Pride, and Humility

I’ve not been able to sleep tonight so I gave up and started reading. I read a short book (I’m not sure it should be called a book, I read it in 40 minutes on my phone) called The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Tim Keller. It is a brilliant little piece of writing that I would like to get as many as I can to read it. It's based on 1 Corinthians 3:21–4:7

Here is one of several passages I highlighted from the book.
When someone whose ego is not puffed up but filled up gets criticism, it does not devastate them. They listen to it and see it as an opportunity to change. Sounds idealistic? The more we get to understand the gospel, the more we want to change. Friends, wouldn’t you want to be a person who does not need honour – nor is afraid of it? Someone who does not lust for recognition – nor, on the other hand, is frightened to death of it? Don’t you want to be the kind of person who, when they see themselves in a mirror or reflected in a shop window, does not admire what they see but does not cringe either? Wouldn’t you like to be the type of person who, in their imaginary life, does not sit around fantasizing about hitting self-esteem home-runs, daydreaming about successes that gives them the edge over others? Or perhaps you tend to beat yourself up and to be tormented by regrets. Wouldn’t you like to be free of them? Wouldn’t you like to be the skater who wins the silver, and yet is thrilled about those three triple jumps that the gold medal winner did? To love it the way you love a sunrise? Just to love the fact that it was done? For it not to matter whether it was their success or your success. Not to care if they did it or you did it. You are as happy that they did it as if you had done it yourself – because you are just so happy to see it. 

Keller, Timothy (2012-04-01). The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness (Kindle Locations 298-308). 10Publishing. Kindle Edition.

That may seem impossible but he clearly describes how this is possible in spite of the fact that we may not know anyone who really lives this way.

In addition to being a strong word to me, the book would also work as an extended gospel tract. It is classic Keller, meaning it does a really good job of preaching the gospel in such a way that it speaks profoundly to believers and unbelievers alike.

Right now, and probably always, its 99 cents on Kindle. Most of you know this, but in case you don’t, you don’t have to own a Kindle to read Kindle books. You just need a computer or a smartphone of some type. You can find out how to do that here. But you can also get a paperback for $5. I think I may get a few of these to give away. It might even be worth giving as a gift to first time guests. I’m always on the lookout for something like that. 

These are not affiliate links, meaning there's no monetary benefit to me. That's a very legitimate thing for bloggers to do. it's just not what I'm doing. I like the book and I hope you will read it, that's it. 


  1. Wow, that's an awesome quote. Very powerful. That way of living sounds so incredibly freeing. That book has been sitting at the top of my recommendations list from Amazon for a few days, and I had considered buying it; just did. I really enjoy Keller's writing. I recently read "Counterfeit Gods."
    Thanks for sharing that.