Short booklet by Tim Keller that’s easy to read and has a great message. The main thesis of the book is that as believers, we don’t need to think more highly or lowly of ourselves. True Christian humility lies in thinking of ourselves less. The person who struggles with self-esteem issues is typically the person who thinks about himself way too much. True freedom and true Christ-likeness comes from not thinking about ourselves at all, but focusing instead on Christ and who we are in Him.
Keller uses as his main proof text I Corinthians 3:21-4:7, wherein Paul says that he isn’t concerned with other’s opinion of him and he’s not concerned with his OWN opinion of him (…indeed, I do not even judge myself). The only thing that matters is how Christ judges his life. It’s a totally different take than what we hear in the world. The world says to not let others judge you – what you think is all that matters. Learn to love yourself and don’t let the critics get you down. But while the Bible also says – essentially – don’t let others define you, it doesn’t then say, “Your opinion of you is all that counts, just love you.” Instead it says to care about how Jesus sees your life and focus on Him. It’s all about Christ – not us. Don’t think poorly of yourself, don’t think highly of yourself – don’t think about yourself at all.
This book is very short and can easily be read in one sitting. To me, it would make a great devotional for about a week. Read it through every morning for five or six days – along with the Corinthians passage – and let its message soak in. Very recommended.