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Confident Humility:

Becoming Your Full Self Without Becoming Full Of Yourself

"In the spirit of Dallas Willard... Dan addresses one of the most persistent problems that Christians face: Why does our faith in God’s transforming love transform us so little?”

-From the foreword by Greg Boyd, author of Letters From a Skeptic

Almost all self-help books emerge from one of two flawed views of the self, and these mutually exclusive ditches are destructive. The Ditch of Smallness says that people are fundamentally bad and that humanity's greatest spiritual threat is pride. The Ditch of Bigness says the exact opposite: people are fundamentally good, and shame is our greatest danger.

Dan Kent presents a third view, a road between the ditches. He shows how the humility Jesus revealed offers the most accurate and freeing view of the self. Whereas shame and arrogance are dysfunction steroids (making our depression darker, our anxiety tighter, our addictions stickier, and so forth), humility, as Jesus teaches it, counteracts both shame and pride, thereby subverting two major psychological forces that thwart us.

Once we embrace this new way of seeing ourselves--how Jesus sees us--we begin to relate to ourselves, to others, and to the world around us in a way that allows us to overcome a whole host of vices and self-sabotaging behaviors. Furthermore, whereas the ditches both lead to powerlessness and passivity, humility as Jesus teaches it is empowering, fosters proactivity, and serves as a scaffold for true confidence.

Daniel Kent (@thatdankent) was born to a 14 year old mother in the humorless tundra of Northern Minnesota. He went to college to figure out if God exists and taught his first college course when he was 25. He wrote his first novel when he was 12 (a nature adventure story, hand-written on 20 sheets of loose-leaf paper and sent off to New York for publication. Unfortunately, the publishing company was "not considering material of this type at this time").

Due to a chronic tendency to underestimate the difficulty of a task, combined with a spirit of stubborn determination, Daniel decided to learn programming and created 420fables.com. Realizing he was a lousy programmer, he returned to his love of writing and his first book ("The Training of KX12") has been a surprise hit.

He is the editor in chief (and occasional contributor) for Greg Boyd's blog ReKnew.org and is the host of the wildly popular podcast: "Greg Boyd: Apologies & Explanations."

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View Dan's Past Sermons

Today, Dan Kent shared with us some ideas about how having a proper Jesus-centered definition of humility can free us in our relationships, and help us remain centered on Jesus, put people before politics, and create peace during these divisive times.

In this fourth installment in our Take Heart series we explore what it means to be encouraged in our ability to build skills and competence in the areas God has entrusted to us. Discouragement can come externally from factors outside of our control that can be overwhelming, but it can also come from feelings and patterns of passiveness within that keep us from enacting what God has trusted us to do.

We are designed by God to love nature, not just to live in it. This is seen in the fact that God often meets us through nature, as such encounters encourage our souls and enliven our bodies. Therefore, in a world that has little room for nature, we must adopt tactics that will open us up to God through nature.

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Dan is the editor and a staff contributor at

  • I read these poets
    by Dan Kent on August 27, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    I read these poets,but don’t connect.These poets, who light their nights on fire with outrageous desire, liquor, lovers, laughter, testing all extremes,feeling every thing to feel—they don’t mean much to me,I’m […]

  • the fundamentals of sky writing
    by Dan Kent on July 27, 2018 at 3:49 am

    the fundamentals of skywritingso you wanna bea skywriter, huh?you wanna be above it all?that’s fine, son.to be so freeto send a messageto a crowd so large so farbeneath your feetyet to remain out of their reachas they see […]

  • two faces
    by Dan Kent on December 14, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    like I’ll be sitting thereeyes fixed at passer-bysat the mall or whereverand, well, I just stare(sorry if this creeps you out)but what can I say? people are, sometimes,just so beautiful to medifferent colors of skindifferent types of […]

  • this time of year I crave junk food
    by Dan Kent on December 8, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    gnats flap like madas hell inhalesheat retreatsthe wind stingsicicles appearon the puppeteer’s puppet stringsthe last birdwithout soundflys slowabove the steeplethe groundgoes flatand hardpeoplegrow roundand fatwhile earth […]

  • Serendipitous Exiles
    by Dan Kent on December 1, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    the world had gone to shitwarfare starvation violencelittle children hustling for a crumblittle girls sold for sex little boys with heavy gunsentire towns on shaky boatsfleeing bombs leaving homesentire tribes without schoolswho’ll […]

  • my shift at work was cancelled and I went for a walk
    by Dan Kent on November 17, 2017 at 5:22 am

    out come the puffy coatsfolks look like chubby cherubsand leaves on the treesturn outrageous shades — electric lemon, neon brick — and squirrels get desperateand so do I and so do I But I’m old […]

  • fritter river
    by Dan Kent on November 11, 2017 at 4:36 am

    look at usrush hour trafficour daily waitour daily fritterour daily taxto a bird we looklike a river of bouldersto God, a river of shamewhat are all you people doing? there can’t be this much work to do!I release the […]

  • October flight lessons
    by Dan Kent on October 27, 2017 at 2:18 am

    it was sunnierand warmerthan normalLady Bugs andBoxelder Bugscovered everythingthat faced the sun“They’re everywhere!”in my hairin my earin my shirt pocketone was even tryna’cop-a-feelof B’s right […]

  • designer journals
    by Dan Kent on October 23, 2017 at 3:27 am

    I was smiling off the fragments of a lingering jokeas I was passing thrua mega bookstoresomewhere alongI slammed the brakesstood up straightstepped backwardsto face a wallcovered with fancy journal booksthe leather smelled like garlic […]

  • they always hatin’ on poets!
    by Dan Kent on October 9, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    they always hatin’ on poets!