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The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness: The Path to True Christian Joy Paperback – March 28, 2012
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Tim Keller knows that personal freedom is only ever found in viewing yourself from the vantage point of the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Read and experience that freedom yourself. --Paul David Tripp
An excellent little piece. This is a truly liberating book for anyone who's ever worried about what other think of them or been caught up in conflict. You'll find your life explained and then put on the path to freedom. --Tim Chester, Author and Director of The Porterbrook Institute
About the Author
Timothy Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, which he started in 1989 with his wife, Kathy, and three young sons. He is the author of several books.
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Author Timothy Keller dismantles everything we believe about our ego. Essentially, he suggests that if we are asking ourselves whether we have low self-esteem or high self-esteem, we are asking the wrong question.
The trap of self-worth is that every day we face the judgement of determining whether we are valued. It’s a never ending struggle. Keller suggests we look, instead, to the Righteous Judge who settled the matter of our worth once and for all. When we accept His judgment of ourselves we can stop asking the question about self-worth because no one’s opinion of my worth, even my own, doesn’t matter any longer.
We can stop connecting every experience with ourselves and live in the freedom that comes from this place of gospel-humility or self-forgetfulness. As Keller writes: “[Paul] has reached the place where he is not thinking about himself anymore. When he does something wrong or something good, he does not connect it to himself any more.”
I encourage you to read The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness because this small eBook contains some big ideas.
This review, with additional book quotes, first appeared on my blog, ChristyBower.com.
"Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come—all are yours. 23 And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.
Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other. 7 For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?"
-- 1 Corinthians 3:21-4:7New King James Version (NKJV)
From this text Keller expounds on the biblical truth that we are only truly free when freed from the tyranny of how we assess and value we ourselves, as well as others do. While this truth is simple in concept it's far more complex in practice because it requires dying to self and living for God just as Christ said:
"I tell you truly that unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains a single grain of wheat; but if it does, it brings a good harvest. The man who loves his own life will destroy it, and the man who hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. If a man wants to enter my service, he must follow my way; and where I am, my servant will also be. And my Father will honour every man who enters my service."
-- John 12:24-26 (JB Phillips)
I have heard this message in many ways over the years but never like this. And, I dare say, that as many times as I've been blessed to hear it I have yet to apply in a way that's truly freeing in the way described in this fine book. As I listened (I "read" the audiobook edition) I was gently prodded and convicted over how far I still have to go. It was quite impacting and most certainly the beginning of many conversations and much reflection regarding the "How to" part.
Though it's a cliche' I really DO think that this is a book that every Christian should read. I give it my highest recommendation.
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Assuming that readers are new to his sermons/books, this book can be a great starting point for its conciseness.Read more