Book Review : The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness
The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness is a short booklet (46 pages) which deals specifically with the passage in 1 Corinthians 3:21-4:7 about how we are to regard ourselves. Timothy Keller begins by talking about the change in modern thinking that suggests social problems and crime are caused by people with low self-esteem. Whereas, in previous centuries and in other cultures, it was thought that having too high an opinion of oneself caused these problems.
Keller’s first point is that our egos are never satisfied. His second point is that we need a transformed view of our self, where we aren’t focused on ourselves, that is, we have neither a high or a low view of ourselves because we aren’t thinking about ourselves at all. Keller’s final point explains how to get to the place of being self-forgetful. Keller feels the problem is that we spend our lives performing, awaiting a verdict, whereas, for the Christian, God has announced the verdict already and declared us not guilty. This means we can go about our day with confidence because the verdict is already in. This gives us the freedom to stop worrying about how we are performing in the eyes of others. Keller concludes the book by encouraging his readers to keep seeking answers until they fully understand what God has achieved for them.
The message is similar to Neil Anderson’s when he talks about seeing ourselves as God sees us. Tim Keller comes to the topic from a slightly different perspective but handles the topic well.
A good read.