The main idea of the book is simply this: sin involves both thinking too much of ourselves and thinking of ourselves too much. The gospel sets us free from this self-absorption because in it we discover Jesus – the one who loves us far more and far better than we can ever love ourselves so we can leave that up to him. Knowing his love for us enables us to get over ourselves (turning instead to Jesus in repentance and faith) and get on with the delight of loving others.
I’ve noticed recently that a lot of the pain and conflict we experience would be overcome if we simply believed and rejoiced in the gospel more deeply. In other words if, through the gospel, we got over ourselves.
But here’s the thing – we’re not very good at recognising our self-absorption. It’s one of the side-effects of being self-absorbed! So this is where the radical idea comes in – we need to get better at spotting self-absorption in each other, lovingly pointing it out and then pointing each other to the liberating news of the gospel.
Is that something you’d be willing to do? Is it something you’d be willing to have others do for you?