“Paul’s self-worth, his self-regard, his identity is not tied in any way to their verdict and their evaluation of him.”
In The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness, Tim Keller writes an exposition of 1 Corinthians 3:21-4:7 that focuses on how the gospel uniquely gives us freedom from our egos. Noting that superiority complexes and inferiority complexes are essentially the same problem (seeing your identity and worth in light of your relation to other people), Keller writes how the gospel allows us to root our identities in Christ–giving us the freedom to acknowledge our sin but not be drowned by it, and to accomplish our work without fearing other people or being enslaved to their opinions.
As a recovering people pleaser, The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness was very helpful to me. I always appreciate how Keller stays close to the text and yet provides compelling and fresh insights and contextual information. The book is like a sermon combined with a Biblestudy–it’s short (and only $1.62 on Kindle!) but meaty. I think it would be good for a discussion group, but it was also good to read as part of a personal devotional time. Although I think the book would be best recommended for people who have an issue with caring too much about what other people think, I doubt that anyone has a complete lock on self-forgetfulness, and the book is in-depth enough that I think most people could get something out of it.
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