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.
Confident Humilty Learning Tools:
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.
The Paintings of Susan Outlaw (Saturday Art Share)
by Daniel Kent on April 18, 2020 at 1:36 pm
We come around a bend, or up over a hill, and we stop, and maybe we gasp, and we lock our eyes on a scene and we mutter […]
Saturday Art Share: The Blame
by Daniel Kent on April 4, 2020 at 12:49 am
This week’s Saturday Art Share brings you THE BLAME by me, Dan Kent. The Blame is a two minute parable about the […]
Saturday Art Share: The Photography of Thomas Jay Oord
by Daniel Kent on March 28, 2020 at 12:36 pm
Commentary by Dan Kent I carry a dread in my heart that human progress has whittled nature almost down to nothing. In […]
Discipleship > Politics
by Daniel Kent on April 11, 2019 at 8:42 pm
Article by Dan Kent Wow. The response to my article Jesus was Not a [Socialist] surprised me! I guess it really […]
Jesus was Not a [Socialist]
by Daniel Kent on March 31, 2019 at 12:48 pm
Article by Dan Kent Our political climate right now exhausts me. The fracturing. The bullying. The ideological mobs. I […]
Today is the Next Monotonous Day of the Rest of Your Life (a motivational post)
by Dan Kent on October 2, 2017 at 3:04 pm
The problem with all these THIS-IS-THE-FIRST-DAY-OF-THE-REST-OF-YOUR-LIFE folks is that they emphasize the wrong thing. Their intention (noble and pure) is to get you to realize how special THIS day is, to get you all in a frenzy about […]
by Dan Kent on September 18, 2017 at 1:43 pm
Good thoughts! Are people boring or are we easily bored? BOTH. It is my contention that the more self-obsessed and dysfunctional a person is (greed, no emotional intelligence, lustful, etc) the more boring they are and, in the long run, […]
Work-Life Balance is a Lie
by Dan Kent on May 22, 2017 at 8:16 pm
I swear, there’s a new viral article about ‘work-life balance’ on the internet every day. It’s fine, I guess. Yes, don’t be a workaholic. Yes, enjoy life. The problem with these pieces, though, is that they’re always written […]
Monster hunting in anti-paradise.
by Dan Kent on February 6, 2017 at 6:15 pm
Bad things are going down all over God’s disintegrating creation. Police shootings, racist politicians, violent oil companies, suffering refugees, melting icecaps, hostile walls, disappearing animals, oppressed minorities—it’s […]
The Universe is a Crime Scene
by Dan Kent on December 29, 2016 at 5:05 pm
I’m conflicted. Most scientists are suspicious of any hypothesis about the natural world that even vaguely smells like “intelligent design.” I don’t blame them! Christian thinkers have historically embarrassed themselves with their […]
What “Man Gave Names to All the Animals” REALLY Means
by Dan Kent on December 9, 2016 at 9:09 pm
“So the man named all the animals, the birds of the air, and the living creatures of the field..” Genesis 2:20 Through our information-obsessed minds we’ve looked upon this story with dull eyes. We watch Adam mechanically name each […]
David & Goliath Follow Up
by Dan Kent on November 30, 2016 at 4:41 pm
So here I come marching onto the stage shouting: “David defeated Goliath because of his skills, NOT because of his faith in God.” But then here comes David, about to throw-down Goliath, shouting to the crowd: “it is not by sword or […]
Do Counselors Laugh at Their Patients?
by Dan Kent on November 17, 2016 at 3:40 pm
Yes. Well, no. We definitely laugh at what patients do. But we do not “make fun of them,” like by calling them names. But we do laugh at their words and deeds. Sometimes symptoms present in humorous ways. There are endless examples. I […]
How to Get Ideas Into Another Person’s Head Using Only Words
by Dan Kent on November 16, 2016 at 1:12 pm
Let me share with you the nature of my toil. I’ve got all this stuff in my head that I believe you would enjoy having in your head. That’s why I write. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. There is great distance from my head to […]
Was Jesus “Crazy”?
by Dan Kent on November 4, 2016 at 3:21 am
“Do you believe I’m the messiah,” the man asked, in a voice that was part tenor, part nasal-congestion. He was rubbing his robe collar between his thumb and index finger. This detail sticks in my memory because his fingernails were […]