Living a Confident Life in Humility – Lessons from Dan Kent

You can listen to a podcast by Greg Boyd as he & Dan talks about his book. The podcast is on Greg’s site, ReKnew.org/podcast

Do you find the idea of walking in confident to be challenging? Are you afraid of the idea of building confident because you don’t want to walk in a spirit of pride? Would you believe that a correct view of humility can be quite helpful and honor Jesus? If so, I’d like to encourage you to read what I learned in my time with Dan Kent’s “Confident Humility: Becoming Your Full Self Without Becoming Full of Yourself”.

The other day, I came across this book written by Dan Kent. Before today, I’ve actually never heard of this fellow and the idea of humility and confident intrigued me. As I read through this book, I felt that it deserves to be talked about on this blog site.

Why did I become so interested in this book? It’s more than a prompting of the Holy Spirit. It’s the idea of building a healthy sense of confident that is centered on God; not self. Plus, I felt a need to have a more biblical idea of real humility.

As you can see, I had my work cut out for me. 🙂 Before I continue, it would help to let you know that Dan has a workbook to go with the main book.

You can buy “Confident Humility: Becoming Your Full Self without Becoming Full of Yourself” on Amazon. The link will take you to Amazon. Here’s a link to “Confident Humility Workbook

I do hope that you looked at that diagram in the above image. It’s a good tease to what you will discover in Dan’s book. The author is correct in saying that humility is not the opposite of pride. How can I be certain? Dan’s book didn’t open my eyes to this truth. It’s something that I learned, years earlier.

You see, my struggles have often centered on shame and a very unhealthy view of myself. At the same time, pride was not far behind. For years, I was caught in a battle to either prove myself to others and a haunting feeling that other people thought badly of me because of my disabilities. It doesn’t stop there!

I’ve also came across the two teams that Dan Kent mentions in his book, Confident Humility. I’m talking about Team Ditch of Smallness and Team Ditch of Bigness. Both groups represent the extreme views that I’ve met in the Body of Christ. In the ’90s, I dealt mostly with the first group. It’s around 2010 that I’d run into the opposite extreme.

If you ever read any of my earlier articles on this blog site or elsewhere then you will know that I’m not a big fan of blind positive thinking. I am what is called a hope-filled realist. I prefer to acknowledge the problem and opt to do something about it. That is why I’m not afraid of useful criticisms. I am just not a fan of ramming people’s head into the nearest brick wall.

How does humility play into this? According to Dan, it begins by learning how God sees you and me. Here’s where the Ditch of Smallness gets it, right. Sin is a very real problem and it is because of sinful human nature that no one can approach God.

Here’s what God told Moses in Exodus 33:19-21:

19 And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” 20 But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!” 21 Then the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock;

Exodus 33:19-21 NASB 95

At the same time, God is love. Though God hates what sin has done to humanity, God still loves broken human beings. Its why God sent His Son into this world. You and I are like a precious pearl brought at a great price or a lost treasure God desires to reclaim. Would God have subjected Jesus to death on the Cross if he hated you and me? I don’t think so!

Here’s what is in John 3:16-18. Keep this in mind. Because God is love, you and I have a choice to accept the gift of salvation or not. Salvation simply means that we’re rescued from the penalty of our sins and we can boldly approach God and not fear. It’s all because of what God did through the sacrifice of Jesus.

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3:16-19 NASB 95

Did I forget to mention that was raised from the dead and sits at the right hand of God, the Father? Yes, it is true and believers are given the gift of the Holy Spirit. It’s because of these facts that we can know the Father truly loves you and me. There is no need to take the extreme Calvinist view of total depravity. That is, the view of not having anything good in us.

Dan is quite correct to say that true humility needs to be rooted in the security of God’s total love and acceptance of the believers in Christ. Dan Kent doesn’t stop there and the Ditch of Bigness is far from exempt. When it comes to motivational speeches, these guys are quite good. I’ve found their advices to be helpful, at times.

However, there is a problem with the Team Ditch of Bigness. Pride simply means an inflated view of self. As a man suffering from a crappy view of self and a deep need for inner healing; their message was very helpful, in the beginning. As time progress, I found that their teachings were going overboard. It seems that they’ve forgotten that Jesus needs to be seated on the throne of the believer’s heart; not self.

I will have to revisit Dan Kent’s book to see what he says about staying rooted in the security of what God says. Since Dan used a generous amount of God’s Word, it’s a safe bet that is similar to my own view. Spend time in reading the Bible and seek the LORD through prayer and worship. I was helped greatly by the reading of Scripture and books that are rooted in God’s Word.

I honestly believe that Dan’s book would have been a great help back in the ’90s. The book did a great job of providing a very balanced view of how God sees me and helped me in dealing with a lot of the same issues that I credited Joyce Meyers and Charles Stanley. Here’s what I mean.

As Dan points out, if you are secured in God’s love for you then you need not be anxious about the opinions of others. It is because of that unconditional love that you’ll step out in faith and exercise the gifts that you are given. I’m talking abou both natural gifts and spiritual gifts. What about confident? How does it come into play?

Confident is subjective and a right confident is not afraid of failures or mistakes. With a right confident, you will see failure and mistakes as opportunity to learn and grow. Yes, it is great when you win however, you are not bothered by losing. You just see it as an opportunity to get better. You’re also not afraid to say, “It’s okay to not be able to do something.”

Guess what? Pride and Shame won’t let you do any of this! However, biblical humility will have you singing a different tune. You can learn all about it in Dan’s book. Speaking of Dan Kent, I forgot to mention that Dan has an extensive site called ThatDanKent. He has a variety of sermons, podcasts and other materials on that site.

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