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The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  11,476 ratings  ·  1,002 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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Mary Ann Yes. This booklet looks specifically at the idea that ideally, we do not want either low self-esteem or high self-esteem but to think less about ourse…moreYes. This booklet looks specifically at the idea that ideally, we do not want either low self-esteem or high self-esteem but to think less about ourselves. This frees us to love God & others well. So it takes the idea perhaps a step further than your question. We are confident in God's love, therefore, we don't need to think about pleasing ourselves or doing things to boost our reputation or because we want to feel good or loving. We can forget ourselves because of that faith in God.(less)

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 ·  11,476 ratings  ·  1,002 reviews

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Apr 23, 2013 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 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
Natalie Vellacott
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: christian-living
Not sure what to make of this effort from the widely acclaimed Tim Keller. It is the first book I have read by the author due to being warned away from him by someone who shall remain nameless.

I agree with him in principle that self-forgetfulness is a worthy goal for a Christian and that we could all do with a greater focus on others rather than ourselves. However, suggesting that we should not care at all what people think of us could lead to a lack of accountability or the encouragement of an
Apr 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian-books
In this teeny weeny book, Keller shows us Pauls self forgetfulness and whats more is he shows it to be a verymuch attractive and relieving lifestyle, something to aim for to be sure.

Second read edit:

I've read this book multiple times now and I think it hits home more every time. Maybe it's that I've lived a little more life than last I read it. Kellers talk seems so very relevant and so simple. I wish I would remember every word in this book and put it to use daily. Great stuff.
Miwaza Jemimah
May 21, 2012 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"
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness fits into that category of books where it's so small but so incredibly rich and insightful that it needs to be read twice a year (at least!) Keller's querying of the human heart, centring around it's ego and subsequent prideful state at times, had me reflecting on my own sense of pride and a lot of questions came up which will no doubt shape a lot of my thoughts and actions henceforth.
Tim Casteel
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Super short book. Some would say Keller was mailing it in. I thought it was great. And I think it might be the gospel message this generation needs, based on I Cor 4:4: "My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me."

"[Paul] does not look to them for the verdict nor, does he look to himself for the verdict.
What Paul is looking for…what we are all looking for, is an ultimate verdict that we are important and valuable."

Modern people think "my conscience i
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes the most powerful books are the shortest ones. I could re-read this one every week and still find conviction and encouragement. May we all learn to live to think not less of ourselves, but think of ourselves less.
Jordan Shirkman
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short, helpful, biblical, challenging. Classic Keller.
Bambi Moore
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It feels a bit strange to give five stars to such a short book, but the content is just wonderful. If you’re forever doing battle with your pride and you’re weary in the fight, this one will help you pick the sword back up. Also read in 2015.
Dec 29, 2012 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
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Tiny (only 46 pages), but full of wisdom explaining First Corinthians 3:21-4:7.

Favorite quote:
“Because the essence of gospel-humility is not thinking more of myself or thinking less of myself, it is thinking of myself less. ...True gospel-humility means I stop connecting every experience, every conversation, with myself. The freedom of self-forgetfulness. The blessed rest that only self-forgetfulness brings.”
Derek Jones
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Literally, if you’ve never read this I don’t want to talk to you again until you have. 45 measly pages of pure gold.
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very short reflection on the human ego and our natural tendency to think too much about ourselves- we either love ourselves and become super arrogant, or we hate ourselves and spend all our time worrying about our mistakes. Spoiler alert: neither of these approaches are good as both are inherently ego-centric.
“The essence of gospel humility is not thinking more of myself or less of myself, it is thinking of myself less.”

I’m really glad I read this. Another Tim Keller book filled with wisdom!
May 22, 2012 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
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
A very good book. It's a short and easy read, but it has some great points!
Evan Johnson
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Revealed a lot about how much I rely on the approval of others and how much that is completely against the gospel.
Georgina N
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classical
Είναι ευχάριστο να διαβάζεις πράγματα που σου μίλαγαν γι'αυτά όταν ήσουν μικρή .

Παραθέτω το αγαπημένο μου σημείο :

"The basis of contemporary education, the way we treat incarcerated prisoners, the foundation of most modern legislation and the starting point for modern counselling is exactly the opposite of the traditional consensus. Our belief today – and it is deeply rooted in everything – is that people misbehave for lack of self-esteem and because they have too low a view of themselves. For
David Steele
Aug 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gospel, theology
Apr 29, 2012 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 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
May 03, 2014 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
Kaitlyn Wright
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
45 (short) pages of PURE GOLD!! Keller's exegesis of 1 Cor. 3:21-4:7 reveals the empty, painful, busy, and fragile state of our egos...The gospel is the remedy for our pride. Self-forgetfulness is the key to finding our lasting joy and identity in who Christ says we are! This book is a must-read and reminds us we need to re-live the gospel daily and pray, pray, pray that God would give us true Gospel-humility.
Rick Dobrowolski
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
I am assuming that this was sermons put in book form with little to no editing. There would be no other explanation, because none of his other books that I have read come across in this style. I appreciated the concepts, but this was the poorest put together Tim Keller book that I have ever read.
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A small pocket sized book but it packs a powerful punch on teaching on being a gospel-humble person.

“A truly gospel humble person is not a self-hating person or self-loving person, but a self-forgetful person. Freedom can be found in this.”
May 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I would give this little booklet 10 stars if I could. If you can get a hold of this book, don't buy just one. You will want to have extra copies to give away.
You won't spend a lot of time reading it, but you will spend the rest of your life pondering the truths it contains. Using 1 Corinthians 3:21 - 4:7, Keller explains the pathway to joy in Christ. This is the answer to insecurity, comparison, low self-esteem, competitiveness, pride, hypersensitivity to criticism, and a whole host of other rel
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Listened to this one on the trip home from school and nodded and “amened” the entire time. I could (and probably should) listen to/read this one weekly if not daily.
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Super helpful, super short book (exposition) on 1 Corinthians 3:21-4:5. Keller helped me see something in Scripture that I didn’t clearly see before in my struggle against the fear of man. We are free from man’s judgment of ourselves AND our own judgment of ourselves because we rest in God’s judgment that we have been approved in Christ.
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-shelf
“gospel humility is not needing to think about myself” really recommend this quick read!
Tom Talamantez
(Update 2020: This book is now on Audible and it is about a 45 minute listen. This time I found it valuable to listen with my Bible open to mark the passages that Paul writes for us to cultivate true humility as a path to being content with whatever our circumstances).

I put this book on my "Required Reading" bookshelf and I plan to revisit it at least once a year.
This is a brilliant little book on the problem of pride in it's many forms, even our spiritual pride. He identifies misunderstanding
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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

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Did you set an extremely ambitious Reading Challenge goal back in January? And has this, uh, unprecedented year gotten completely in the way of...
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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.” 33 likes
“C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity makes a brilliant observation about gospel-humility at the very end of his chapter on pride. If we were to meet a truly humble person, Lewis says, we would never come away from meeting them thinking they were humble. They would not be always telling us they were a nobody (because a person who keeps saying they are a nobody is actually a self-obsessed person). The thing we would remember from meeting a truly gospel-humble person is how much they seemed to be totally interested in us. Because the essence of gospel-humility is not thinking more of myself or thinking less of myself, it is thinking of myself less. Gospel-humility is not needing to think about myself. Not needing to connect things with myself. It is an end to thoughts such as, ‘I’m in this room with these people, does that make me look good? Do I want to be here?’ True gospel-humility means I stop connecting every experience, every conversation, with myself. In fact, I stop thinking about myself. The freedom of self-forgetfulness. The blessed rest that only self-forgetfulness brings.” 14 likes
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