JRF's # 44 - The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness: The Path to True Christian Joy by Tim Keller

This short book by pastor and author Tim Keller is an exposition I Corinthians 3:21 - 4:7 focusing on how a person who has been set from sin through Christ should esteem themselves and others.   In a few short chapters Keller dissects this powerful passage of scripture and lays bare the core of humanity's problem -  sinful, self-centered pride.

From there Keller shows how our basic bent towards selfishness and pride is at of the root of both those who esteem themselves too highly and those who "suffer" from low self esteem.  This section is an insightful exploration into a biblical view of the natural condition of the human ego and how Christ can rescue us from ourselves.

Keller goes on to explain that Christ doesn't transform our view of ourselves but actually transforms our very self.  Finally, Keller brings us back to I Corinthians and shows through Paul that ultimately it is not how others view us or even our view of ourselves that sets us free but it is God's view of us that matters and that through Christ, He can justly view us as holy and precious in His sight.  Our sinful nature and deeds no longer define us in Christ. We are accepted "because of what the Lord Jesus has done.  Then, the only person whose opinion counts looks at me and He finds me more valuable than all the jewels in the earth."   That is freedom.

A very helpful, powerful little book.

Ron’s #8: When People are Big and God is Small by Edward Welch

A good friend recommended this book to address our fear of man instead of our holy fear of God. After a slew of complaining parents at school and an ever-tightening knot in my stomach, I decided that I wanted to read it. As it addresses the topic of fear, I think there was much to glean. However, it was a bit too counsel-ly for me. Some aspects reminded me of the books I had to read in a counseling class in college, and that’s not a good thing.

Welch offers important reminders that as Christians, we must not give in to becoming people pleasers, a temptation that I lean toward. God is to be the one I’m trying to “impress.”