Jesus kicks off Matthew 7 with a firm warning about the dangers of judgement, then follows this up by mocking those who judge the speck of dust in the eyes of others. On its own, I consider this teaching against judgement challenging, but also compelling and thoroughly coherent. If the teaching ended with verse 5, I’d take a deep breath and go about the business of trying to live it…
“Do you believe I’m the messiah,” the man asked, his voice part tenor, part nasal-congestion. He rubbed his robe collar between his thumb and index finger. This detail sticks in…
I swear, I see 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…
I created @fruitlessVerses because I was getting annoyed at the perpetual deluge of “inspirational verses,” plastered on beautiful pictures, constantly bombarding our eyeballs all across the social media empire. Believe…
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.