The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness (Book Review)

The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness (Book Review)

You’ll love it if
the shackles of self-love and self-hate are too heavy to bear

This book review contains affiliate links. Here’s my disclosure policy.

The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness

By Timothy Keller

Information
Inspiration
Writing Craft
Moral Value

A short piece of much-needed truth in our age of selfie syndrome

I listened to this audiobook in one day, and then I turned around and listened to the last chapter again, and I’ll probably listen to it again.

My husband and I are teaching a seminar for 20-somethings next month, and the subject is “the change,” as in Christian transformation, living as a new creature, undergoing the renewal of the mind. This was beautiful food for thought in developing the seminar content.

What does it look like to live a Christ-transformed life? One HUGE indicator is that mature Christians don’t think about themselves all that much. They don’t think less of themselves. They don’t think more of themselves. They think more about God and others than they do about themselves. This, Tim Keller says, is blessed freedom. I couldn’t agree more.

We are constantly looking for signs that we are important and valuable. We live good, Christian lives in order to achieve our “righteous” merit badges. We look to others for validation—I’m reminded of the tortured Anna Karenina asking her sister-in-law, Dolly, again and again, “What do you think of me?” Keller compares this to being in a neverending courtroom, where we are on trial, and we are looking to others (or to ourselves) for a verdict, an answer to the question: Am I a good person?

Keller says we have to get out of the courtroom. How? We accept God’s verdict of us.

When we believe in Jesus as our Savior, then we are beloved children of God. That is our identity. This verdict comes before any “performance” on our part—the act of faith, the choice to believe in the gospel results in God’s final verdict on our identity and worth. We are His children, loved, and accepted. THEN the transformation happens. The verdict OUTFITS us for the performance to come, the “enduring to the end.”

We step out of the courtroom, no longer trying to prove our goodness, and we are free to stop obsessing over our self-worth and turn our precious focus upward and outward, where we find joy and freedom.

5
Do More Better (Book Review)

Do More Better (Book Review)

You’ll love it if
you want a few good reasons WHY productivity matters in our walk with the Lord

This book review contains affiliate links. Here’s my disclosure policy.

Do More Better

By Tim Challies

Information
Inspiration
Writing Craft
Moral Value

How to be a productive Christian human.

This would make the perfect high school graduation gift for a Christian kid. This is a short, practical method to getting things done that comes from a Christian perspective. It wasn’t earth-shattering for me, but I can imagine it would be super helpful for my teenage nephews who are about to embark upon Real Life after high school.

This is my first interaction with Challies, so I don’t know him in any other context besides this book, but I liked what he had to say about centering life on loving God and serving others. We’re not getting more things done just so that we can amass wealth and accomplishments and fame. We’re trying to steward our lives in a way that will honor God because we love and revere Him, and we acknowledge that He is in charge of our plans and path.

I think this book would’ve felt more “new” if I hadn’t read Mystie Winkler’s planner book. She draws on several of his frameworks, including a weekly review. I liked the planner book a lot because it’s specifically for moms, and it felt more relevant to my situation right now.

I’m not a big app person. I do much better with paper and ink, but I can apply the general principles attached to the digital tools (Todoist, Google Calendar, and Evernote) to my paper planner.
I did enjoy the section on Serve and Surprise. I like the idea of surprising people by going over and above.

4.1