With only 44 pages, double spaced, about size 14 font, Tim Keller published a booklet in 2012 and to this day, I go back to and read some very helpful words. The title to his booklet is the title to this post.
Here is the back cover description:
“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 resume are seen as the methods to ‘make it’, the apostle Paul calls us to find true rest in blessed self-forgetfulness . . . this is a truly liberating book for anyone who’s ever worried about what others think of them or been caught up in conflict.”
And here is a quote from Keller on page 39:
“Do you realize that it is only in the gospel of Jesus Christ that you get the verdict before the performance? The atheist might say that they get their self-image from being a good person. They are a good person and they hope that eventually they will get a verdict that confirms that they are a good person. Performance leads to the verdict. For the Buddhist too, performance leads to the verdict. If you are a Muslim, performance leads to the verdict. All this means that every day, you are in the courtroom, every day you are on trial. That is the problem. But Paul is saying that in Christianity, the verdict leads to performance.”
Buy the booklet! Buy bunches of them for stocking-stuffers this Christmas. There is nothing more freeing than to care about the only opinion of you that really matters: it is Christ’s opinion that matters most. Everyone else’s, including your own, matters little.