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The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness

4.39  ·  Rating Details ·  5,483 Ratings  ·  524 Reviews
‘What are the marks of a supernaturally changed heart?’

This is one of the questions the Apostle Paul addresses as he writes to the church in Corinth. He’s not after some superficial outward tinkering, but instead a deep–rooted, life–altering change that takes place on the inside. In an age where pleasing people, puffing up your ego and building your résumé are seen as the
Paperback, 46 pages
Published March 28th 2012 by 10Publishing
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Apr 23, 2013 midnightfaerie rated it really liked it
Shelves: religious
The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness can be summed up in one sentence, "I don't care what you think, and I don't care what I think." Keller expounds on the premise that his sins and his identity are not connected. His accomplishments and his identity are not connected. We need to stop judging ourselves, that is already done for us. We still sin, but we are loved. "My conscience is clear," he says, "but that does not make me innocent."

Keller uses a quote from Madonna to better be able to relate his
Steve Hemmeke
May 07, 2013 Steve Hemmeke rated it really liked it
In a booklet barely 40 pages long, Keller explains 1 Corinthians 3:21-4:7 and tackles pride, ego, despair, self-esteem and the condemnation of others and ourselves.

The more I read Keller the more I see a standard format that I like: not A, and not B, but C. Where the world falls into one ditch or the other, he shows the Way.

Here, the two ditches are low self-esteem and high self-esteem. Traditional cultures have dealt with guilt and explained sin by pointing to pride. We think too highly of ours
Nermine Hosni
Sep 25, 2014 Nermine Hosni rated it really liked it
نحن عادة لا نسمع أناساً واثقين بأنفسهم جداً ويقولون انهم اسوأ الجميع ونحن لسنا معتادين سماع شخص صادق يعترف بجميع مفاسده الاخلاقيه رغم منزلته الرفيعة وثقته الشديدة بنفسه

ان التواضع وفق مفهوم الكتاب المقدس يعني عدم حاجتي الي التفكير في نفسي وعدم حاجتي الي ربط الامور بشخصيتي بل هو التوقف عن التفكير بالمنطق التالي : مادمت موجوداً مع هؤلاء الاشخاص في هذه الغرفة هل هذا يجعلني اظهر بمظهر الشخص المهم ؟ وهل انا راغب في وجودي هنا ؟ فالتواضع بمفهوم الكتاب المقدس يعني ان اتوقف عن ربط كل عمل او حديث بنفسي كم
Miwaza Jemimah
May 21, 2012 Miwaza Jemimah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
How to live freely and joyfully in God. Awesome book. Life changing.

"The essence of gospel-humility is not thinking more of myself or thinking less of myself, it is thinking of myself less" - Tim Keller

Here is a sermon from 2002 by Tim Keller on "Blessed Self-Forgetfulness"
May 22, 2012 Jeff rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Jeff by: Peter (friend)
How can a 40 pg book be so life changing? Keller expounds on 1 Cor 3:21-4:7. He fully explains what Paul means by not caring what others think about him, how a court would judge him and doesn't even judge himself.

He writes about high and low self esteem and how neither of them are legitimate. The only thing that matters is what the Lord thinks of us. And that is based on the gospel. Because God imputes his righteousness to us when we are born again, we can do things for the joy of doing them, no
Gabriela Paige
Feb 23, 2016 Gabriela Paige rated it really liked it
A very good book. It's a short and easy read, but it has some great points!
Dec 29, 2012 Ainsley rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
This slender volume is a tremendous little read. It's very accessible, whether you're a Christian or not. Tim Keller asserts that before the 20th century, we assumed all problems were due to thinking of oneself too highly--high self-esteem--and that since the 20th century, we attribute all problems to not loving ourselves enough--low self-esteem. And he proposes a third way:

"...the problem with self-esteem--whether it is high or low--is that, every single day, we are in the courtroom. Every sing
Jan 13, 2013 Christopher rated it it was amazing
This is a tiny book -- just 41 pages of content -- that packs a lot of punch. Using Paul's letter to the church in Corinth, Keller explains what true gospel humility looks like. And it wasn't what I thought.

The first third of the book is focused on our egos and how messed up they are: swollen with pride, empty, painful, busy, and fragile.

The second part explores how wrong modern psychology's answer to our problems is... on the one hand, psychology is right: if you look to others for your sense
Apr 29, 2012 Jimmy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian-living
In less than 50 pages Tim Keller packs a gospel-punch with The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness. A brief, almost sermon-like, exposition of 1 Corinthians 3:21-4:7 concludes with this powerful summary:

"Like Paul, we can say, 'I don't care what you think. I don't even care what I think. I only care what the Lord thinks.' And he has said, 'Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus', and 'You are my beloved child in whom I am well pleased.' Live out of that."

If your opin
Feb 23, 2016 Sarah rated it it was amazing
In summary, Tim Keller says that to forget ourselves, we have to stop looking to others or ourselves to be validated. We need to compare ourselves to God's standard for us - and that standard has been eternally met for us by Jesus Christ. We don't need to keep living each day as though we were still on trial. We are, as Keller says, "out of the courtroom" - for good.

This doesn't mean that we will now live however we want. Actually, for the children of God, the verdict is what determines our per
Mina Bessada
Feb 24, 2015 Mina Bessada rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
تدور فكرة الكتاب حول كيفية النظرة للذات اعتمادا على مقطع من رسالة بولس الرسول الاولى لاهل كورنثوس 3:21
و ما بين احترام الذات القائم على معايير الناس و اللهث وراء رضا الناس و اكتساب تشجيعهم و راضهم و ما بين اقامة معايير شخصية لاكتساب احترام للذات و هو شيئ يذيد الامر صعوبة, اما لاقامة معايير عالية يصعب الوصول لها او معاير منخفضة جدا فيشفق الانسان على ذات ولا يشعر بانه تقدم للامام
و الطرح الذي يطرحه الكاتب هو نسيان الذات و عدم التمحور حولها و تقيم المفهوم الصحي للتواضع
فلا تكون الذات منتفخة و هشة ول
May 03, 2014 Christina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-50-favorites

Wow, even though this is a short book (48 pages),it's life changing and made me cry. It's based on

1 Corinthians 3:21-4:7

And I am honestly not there. But I want to be. I compare myself with everyone when it comes to riches, education,looks,status,and ministry. Jealousy rages in my heart. And it's because I truly haven't understood the acceptance that Christ Alone is where I need look for my acceptance and be satisfied with it. But I want to be accepted by others, and even myself, and that where
Seth Little
Oct 01, 2012 Seth Little rated it liked it
It's hard to read Tim Keller and not give an overwhelmingly positive review--which I will again do here. But this was very short, and it seems a little unfair to give such a brief work the same score as a more comprehensive volume. So I won't. Disclaimer given.
Leandro Guimarães Faria Corcete DUTRA
Gospel humility is thinking about oneself less, not less of oneself. As Jesus took our judgement upon Himself, we are free to learn from what otherwise would destroy us.
Bill Martin
Nov 15, 2014 Bill Martin rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Christians, especially those in ministry
Shelves: christian
This is really a collection of Keller's sermons. It's short, but let me just put it this way: I need to read this once a year for the rest of my life.
May 21, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: tim-keller
Tim Keller is a great writer, and a better speaker. I still remember reading The Reason For God , and feeling more like I was being swept into a great movie than an academic book on apologetics and philosophy. He is uncanny at deconstructing complex truths so that the average reader can understand them in the context of their own life situation. This book is no different, though much shorter than usual.

The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness  is based on 1 Corinthians 3:21-4:7, where Paul upbraids t
Jun 23, 2015 C.J. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
A short and concise, but penetratingly insightful on the topic of our "busy, empty, hurt, and painful" ego. Our ego is incredibly hurt, as we can see how often we find the need to think about ourselves. A glance from a stranger or staring ourselves in the mirror is enough to make us to think instantaneously about ourselves. Often, we either try to manage this ego by encouraging it or keeping it from being proud. But Tim Keller prescribes something completely different. The Christians are called ...more
Apr 28, 2013 Valerie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Dawn Walker, Dorothy Walker
Recommended to Valerie by: Amazon
As small as it is, it makes an excellent point about self-esteem. For $3 from Amazon, I highly recommend reading it. It explains why too high self esteem isn't good and why too low self esteem is the same thing. I've always felt that I have too low self esteem and I love his explanation on why. I completely agree and I am set to reread this book more than once. The next time I read it, my bible will be by my side (I read it at work) and I'm going to keep it next to my bed, in my line of vision, ...more
Jan 28, 2014 Jkanz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014, 2015
The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness (2012) is a very short by Tim Keller and each of the 48 pages is packed with meaning. He is focusing on 1 Corinthians 3:21-4:7 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] . Early in the book, he wrote, "Up until the twentieth century, traditional cultures (and this is still true of most cultures in the world) always believed that too high a view of yourself was the root cause of all the evil in the world. What is the reason for most of the crime and violence i ...more
Amy Kannel
Sep 28, 2012 Amy Kannel rated it liked it
Shelves: gospel, christianity
I normally love Tim Keller, but this booklet (it can't really be called a book) was not really anything new if you've read C.S. Lewis. Those who have never heard his perspective ("humility isn't thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less") or who have never been exposed to the gospel third-way thinking about self-image (with low self-esteem and high self-esteem being sides of the same coin, neither desirable) might find this very helpful and revolutionary. But if those ideas are fa ...more
Josh Montague
Oct 12, 2012 Josh Montague rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian-living
Very quick read, but a great one. The problem isn't high self-esteem or low self-esteem. The problem, according to Keller, is that we judge ourselves in the courts of other's opinions or our own self-evaluation rather than resting in the verdict of "not guilty" declared in God's courtroom through the work of Jesus. Resting in the gospel, produces true humility (self-forgetfulness).

Taking his cue from C.S. Lewis, Keller reminds us, "If we were to meet a truly humble person, ... we would never com
Brandon Wilkins
Dec 09, 2014 Brandon Wilkins rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this booklet a lot. "Humility is not thinking more of yourself or less of yourself, but thinking about yourself less." Justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone can be the catalyst to this humility. That's gold!

However, I did walk away wondering if Keller then thinks there is no place at all for Christians to feel shame when they have done wrong, or satisfaction when they have done well. Also, is it wrong to desire to serve others well, and be either pleased or d
Reagan Ramm
Feb 05, 2016 Reagan Ramm rated it it was amazing
This is only my second book of Keller's that I have read, but he is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. His insights into the often counter-intuitiveness of truth to our worldly minds often reminds me of Dallas Willard, Eric Ludy, or C.S. Lewis.

In this book, he so clearly and accurately points out what a burden it is to be a slave to ego, and what freedom it is when we completely forget about our Self. While many Christians will willing say, "It's not about me, but God," Keller really
Mar 02, 2015 John rated it liked it
I do get the point of this little book, but it is no gem.

Timothy Keller does a very bad job in defining self-esteem, and makes the mistake of defining high self-esteem as the state of mind that is never statisfied with what you have accomplished even though it is great stuff. He mixes up the appearance of high self-esteem(combined with some self-pride) and call it the opposite of low self-esteem - but that is exactly the same thing that low self-esteem does and appear as.

I got the feeling that
Aug 12, 2012 Tim rated it really liked it
Very short book, but it's one of Tim Keller's better ones. The basic point is that, in contrast to "performance-oriented" views of sanctification, true sanctification is characterized by increasing forgetfulness of self, decreasing focus on looking back at our own track record prove that we are "getting better at being good", and increasing confidence in what Jesus accomplished for us. It's a good antidote for bad preaching that causes so many to lose the joy of completely trusting in Jesus for ...more
Kaleb Riley
Aug 21, 2012 Kaleb Riley rated it it was amazing
A 5 stars well deserved. Instead of writing an unnecessary lengthy 200 page book repeating the same concepts, Keller packs a punch in this nugget of a book. He is quick to the point and the heart. I strongly believe that every Christian, especially leaders and pastors within the church should read this book. It will have a lasting effect on my daily life and the way I interact with others. Don't buy coffee for two days, instead buy this book. Caffeine will fade, but the truths presented in this ...more
Feb 04, 2016 Elaine rated it liked it
This book took me 30 minutes to read. I wanted more from it than it offered. It introduces a great idea, but it stops short of fully fleshing it out. I'm a big underliner when reading books and I only underlined two sentences and wrote "Great Point!" next to another (CS Lewis' definition of pride). Other books by Tim Keller provide so much food for thought. So this book introduces a good idea. Hopefully Tim Keller will finish the idea with a full size book later.
Feb 11, 2013 Karl rated it it was amazing
What an excellent book, full of great biblical and practical advice.
Not only does Timothy Keller really get to the root problem, but in doing so he is showing us new insights by writing in a personally self revealing and humble way that matches the title.
You really get the impression that he is not concerned how the book reflects upon him or his standing as a pastor and acclaimed writer.
His insights are once again proof that God is full of surprises!
Jun 30, 2016 Joostnixon rated it it was amazing
This little book is an excellent resource to help readers understand how the gospel sets us free from always feeling we have to measure up, and the inevitable disappointment when we either do not, or when we find that we have to do it all over again, every single day, without relent. It deals with egotism, self-esteem, narcissism and self-focus. Worth reading again and again, and because it is so short, great to give out to others.
Apr 11, 2014 Thomas rated it it was ok
Hmmm ... I wanted to like this book, and the message of it is fine and simple. The annoying thing is that pretty much every point in the book is repeated, not once but twice. That's right! Reading it is like having deja vu ... twice ... repeatedly. Effectively, it could (and should) have been 1/3 of what it is. But since it's only 44 small pages with large print, 1/3 of it would be ... an essay. This book will probably work well for some people, but not for me.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

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. For over twenty years he has led a diverse congregation of young professionals that has grown to a weekly attendance of over 5,000.

He is also Chairman of Redeem
More about Timothy J. Keller...

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“...the essence of gospel-humility is not thinking more of myself or thinking less of myself, it is thinking of myself less.” 27 likes
“the problem with self-esteem – whether it is high or low – is that, every single day, we are in the courtroom.” 7 likes
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