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Finding Freedom in Humility

Finding Freedom in Humility

Radio host and author Brant Hansen discusses our continuous need for self-reflection and the pursuit of humility, which has become all the more necessary as we live out our days in a culture of self righteousness.
Original Air Date: September 20, 2021

Preview:

Brant Hansen: How about if I’m just desperate for God where I just sing, “Lord have mercy on me, I’m a sinner.” How about just that? That puts us in that frame of mind, where now, now you can work with somebody like that. This is where the person starts to get through life, and they start to battle, um, and we become a different person who can be taught.

End of Preview

John Fuller: Brant Hansen shares insights about how we think we’re good people when really we’re not. But our discussion today is gonna be a hopeful discussion, not a downer. Brant’s gonna share good news about our weaknesses, and he’s gonna help us laugh a bit about ourselves, and I think you’re gonna be encouraged. Your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, the Bible says that we should think of others more highly than ourselves. How do you deal with that? (laughs)

John: (laughs) I always think more highly of you, Jim, than I do myself.

Jim: Yeah, no, I appreciate that.

John: (laughs)

Jim: I think instead we tend to think of ourselves more highly than others.

John: That’s the inclination.

Jim: In fact, uh, our guest, uh, Brant Hansen, cites a survey from the University of London, which it concluded that a substantial majority of individuals believe themselves to be morally superior to the average person. Does that not set us up to be a Pharisee or what? I mean, it’s crazy.

John: It is, but it seems to really reflect what’s going on right now in the times.

Jim: Well, I think it reinforces the heart of every human being. It is more evidence that we have this natural tendency to consider our own needs above the needs of others, and as Christians, we need to get that under control.

John: Well, Brant Hansen is a syndicated, uh, radio host on more than 200 radio stations. He’s won awards for the national personality of the year for his, um, I guess it’s self-described offbeat Christian radio show.

Jim: (laughs)

John: It’s pretty unique. It’s a great show.

Jim: That’s a good description.

John: I love listening to you.

Jim: Yeah.

John: And, uh, Brant has written a number of books, including The Truth About Us: The Very Good News About How Very Bad We Are. And we have copies of that right here at the ministry just give us a call, 800-A-FAMILY, or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Brant, welcome back to Focus on the Family. It’s good to have you with us.

Brant: Thank you. So glad to be back.

Jim: Um, let’s get into that first thing. We all like to think we’re good people. That survey from the University of London’s crazy. But it’s part of human nature, I think, that, uh, we want to see ourselves as healthy and good, and, uh, and you’re here to bring us some news that we’re actually bad.

John: (laughs)

Jim: Now, why is it good news to know that we’re bad?

Brant: Well, okay, here’s the thing. Let me pull back for just a second. What’s fascinating about this too is that if you ask people, “Are you a better driver than average?” You’ve probably seen the stats.

Jim: Absolutely.

Brant: It’s like 85%.

Jim: (laughs)

Brant: We do the same thing with intelligence. We all rate ourselves as more intelligent than average. But the biggest delusion, according to modern cognitive psychology is about our moral goodness. 93% of us say that we’re morally superior to the average person.

Jim: Well, what are those 7%? (laughs)

Brant: I don’t know.

Jim: That’s crazy.

Brant: Well, I’d like to build on that 7%.

Jim: Right.

Brant: Because you’d think that’s what Jesus is saying to us. Like, “You’re not a good person.” And that’s a really harsh thing to hear. I’m sure it didn’t go over well when he said it. It’s definitely a tough thing to pitch to, like, a publishing firm. “I want to write a book about this,” like-

Jim: Well, what did Jesus say about us in scripture?

Brant: Well, He casually called us evil doers. He said, like, “You guys are evil doers.” Um, like, like, God loves us. You wouldn’t even do something like that to your kids. Give them stone instead of bread or something. Like, He says, “We’re not good. He says, “Only God is good.” He’s constantly telling us to repent. Like, to rethink. To revisit what our, we already think about ourselves. Um, it’s very consistent what He’s saying. The wonderful thing about it is, all of this machinery that we have, again, that it’s fascinating to me that these modern cognitive psychologists, including, like, a Nobel Prize winner, Daniel Kahneman, they’re agreeing with Jesus.

Jim: Right.

Brant: They’re saying, we’re so biased, it’s remarkable. We’re self-righteous machines.

Jim: Right.

Brant: It’s their description of us.

Jim: Yeah, let me ask you this. Did that, is that the, the fallout, the residue of the fall? Is the sin nature in us?

Brant: I think so. I think it’s the idea that we’re the ones that determine and good and evil. I mean-

Jim: Yeah.

Brant: … so that’s very directly from the decision that, that we made in Eden. But it’s universal. It’s not just… People can say, “Well, those religious people. They’re so self-righteous.” No, it’s not just religious people. All you have to do is look at Twitter. It’s constant virtue signaling. It’s constant one upping. “Look how good I am.” People are, are desperately trying to prove their moral goodness-

Jim: Right.

Brant: … however they can, and that, that makes sense because if you don’t depend on God’s grace, you, you’ve got to prove this somehow.

Jim: Yeah.

Brant: You don’t know how to prove it. You got to prove it.

Jim: You know, one of the things that we, again, so easily do is compare ourselves to others. Social media’s full of that. Pinterest, (laughs), to be specific.

Brant: Totally. Right.

Jim: You look at my birthday party. It’s much better than yours.

Brant: (laughs)

Jim: Um, again, what, why do we lean in that direction? It’s so ungodly to do that?

Brant: Well, here’s the wild thing about social media too that’s making us worse, I think. Um, and I’m on social media and whatnot but just something to be aware of. They’ve shown that we get a dopamine hit when we something that proves us right.

Jim: Huh.

Brant: Well, dopamine’s what you get addicted to.

Jim: Right, that’s the addictive feature.

Brant: We’re addicted to being right.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Brant: We get addicted to this. We, we hate the idea that we should reconsider, or that we might be wrong about something, and again, we can see why it is so addictive, because not only do we get the dopamine hit, but there’s also a bias. It’s called, uh, the attitude polarization effect. And what this is, is as soon as I make a statement, I will double down, triple down, quadruple down on the statement I just made, even if I didn’t mean it when I first said it-

Jim: Right.

Brant: … that much. Kinda-

Jim: To defend it.

Brant: Yeah, I’ve got an opinion. I think this guy’s the best quarterback in the NFL. “Yeah, I don’t.” Well, now I’m go- It’s, you know, we’re gonna talk about that. I’m gonna defend my… I got to marshal resources. I’ve got to justify what I already thought.

Jim: Yeah. Brant-

Brant: I have to justify myself.

Jim: Let me ask you this. Um, if we’re proud or self-righteous, what damage do we do to ourselves and to our lives?

Brant: We make terrible decisions.

Jim: And give us an example-

Brant: Well-

Jim: … how does that play out?

Brant: Be- because we trust our thinking, we can overlook the fact that we are using our reasoning to back up our emotions instead of the other way around. So this is how humans work. Let’s say I got to hire somebody, and, um, a friend of mine wants the job, and I know deep down maybe she’s not cut out for that. But she’s a friend, and hey, it’ll be… This could work. But you’ll, you’ll talk yourself in to making a bad decision, unless you’re humble, and you recognize, “Wait a second. I’m justifying again.” We justify so much. We’re justifying machines. So being able to be humble about how we think can short circuit that. Make sure we surround ourself with other people that can speak into us and check our wayward thinking. Like, we need each other. Because when you humble yourself, you realize all of these biases that will kick in to justify what you already wanted, which is how we, how we actually work.

Jim: But again, that’s contrary to our human nature. I love Luke 18. If, if you think these are ancient words. I mean, just apply this in Luke 18, Jesus tells the parable of the Pharisees standing by himself, praying, saying, “God, I thank you that I’m not like other people. Robbers, evil doers, adulterers. Or even like that tax collector.” And that’s exactly the point. That’s what the University of London is proving. (laughs)

Brant: It totally is. And then, so Jesus is contrasting that very deliberately with a guy who is saying, “Lord have mercy on me, I’m a sinner.” And he’s saying that’s the posture to have. So if I have that mentality, Lord have mercy on me, I’m a sinner. This is what all of this, again, all this cognitive psychology that I get into where I think it’s very fun to study how humans operate, how we convince ourselves of things. But it’s all pointing towards that kind of humility.

Jim: Yeah.

Brant: And this is what Jesus is telling us we should live this way. It turns out it’s a much better way to live. You’re less defensive. That’s another advantage to this.

Jim: Yeah.

Brant: Um, you do make better decisions, but you also realize just how desperate for God you are.

Jim: Well, again, the irony too that science proves scripture.

Brant: Yeah, again, it does. And it’s fascinating too. Even the guy… And I talked about this in the book. There’s a show called Westworld, and the guy who does it, who wrote it, is apparently really brilliant. He’s not a believer. But they were interviewing him for Entertainment Weekly or something, and I caught this interview, and he said, “I’m not very positive about humans because it seems like for thousands of years we’ve been making the same mistakes over and over and over.” And he said, “There seems like there’s something deeply wrong with us. Like, there’s a flaw in our code or something,” he said.

Jim: Interesting.

Brant: There’s something deeply wrong with us. Well, yeah. Exactly.

Jim: (laughs) Right.

Brant: There is, and this is why it’s so great to be able to ask God for direction.

Jim: Right.

Brant: And you realize-

Jim: That’s the whole plan, right?

Brant: It is. So-

Jim: Redemption.

Brant: Every day, when I’m making decisions, I want to stop and pause because I know how wrong I can be. I know how I can fool myself, I can delude myself.

Jim: Well, let’s look at an example of that. That was the next question I had for you. You had a humbling story in your book about a sky writer.

Brant: (laughs)

Jim: If I remember correctly. So let’s just put it on display for the rest of us to learn from.

Brant: Oh, thank you.

Jim: (laughs)

Brant: This is a very inspiring story. I just… I was just trying to give an example of being spectacularly wrong. Well, this sky writer who always wrote Christian things in the sky. Like, John 3:16 or God loves you, in South Florida, died in a crash. And I was doing the morning show on a popular Christian station, and I got the news, and I said it on the air, and everybody started calling in. They were crying. They were like, “That guy meant a whole lot to us,” and people were calling, crying some more. And somebody eventually called. The lines were jammed. I was doing this show by myself. I get a call. Somebody going, “Hey, somebody picked up his mantle, and now they’re writing in the sky, and they’re writing God loves you in the sky. It’s beautiful.” And it was amazing. Three hour show I did on this. The guy wasn’t dead. I got the wrong information that the newspaper corrected on their website, right after I started the show. I didn’t recheck it. He actually had taken up to the sky to try to prove to his family and friends that he was still alive. (laughs)

Jim: (laughs) Oh my goodness. It was him.

Brant: It was him.

Jim: “I’m back in the sky, everybody.”

Brant: He was, [inaudible] he couldn’t get through on the phone lines.

Jim: (laughs)

Brant: So I just, I had to go on the air the next day, like, “Hey, good news. He’s still alive.”

Jim: Well, you can always say, it’s nice to hear those good things before you die. (laughs)

Brant: He did. He… I had to call him and apologize, obviously. And he was like, “Well, it was, it was hard because I didn’t want people being scared. But on the other hand, it was neat to hear all these testimonies.” He’s had his own funeral.

Jim: That’s the upside.

Brant: Yeah.

Jim: So to speak.

Brant: That’s the upside, yeah.

Jim: Brant, why do we invest so much effort into being right or thinking that we’re right? Why is being right so critical to us as human beings?

Brant: I think it’s because we know, we know there’s a thing called goodness, and it’s beautiful. We know that. But again, unless I can depend on God to give me my significance. For God to say, “I love you, I created you good. This whole world was created good.” This is not a guilt trip. This is just, like, this is who we are. This is how humans work. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it. This is how I work. But if I don’t have that grace, I have to prove my rightness all the time to validate myself, to justify my existence. And so for me to not have to do that is so freeing.

Jim: Yeah.

Brant: Once again, living the Jesus way is actually easier than the alternative, ’cause I don’t have to be proving myself or defending myself all the time. And I can also just say, sometimes, “I don’t know.” I don’t have to know everything. I might have messed that up. I’m a sinner. I might have messed up. I need to apologize.

John: Well, we trust that, uh, you’re being encouraged by Brant Hansen today on Focus on the Family. Your host is Jim Daly, and, uh, the book that Brant has written is called The Truth About Us: The Very Good News About How Very Bad We Are. And, uh, it’s a great book. Get a copy from us. Just call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY, or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Brant, let me ask you, uh, about this. Uh, in leadership, uh, people often ask, you know, “What’s a core principle that you try to lead by?” And one of the things that has evolved for me in my leadership here at Focus is the concept of knowing your own heart as best as you can. The scripture says you’re not gonna know it fully, only the Lord knows it fully. Your own heart. That’s kind of intimidating right there. But how do you know what’s true, what’s real? Uh, in your life. Your own leadership, you know, being a husband in my case. Being a father. What is true? And then what are (laughs) those things that I’m a little weak at, right?

Brant: Yeah.

Jim: And it’s such a challenge for us to zero in on the truth. I mean, in our, I think our while nation is struggling with this right now. What is true?

Brant: Absolutely.

Jim: And the more obfuscated that is, the more difficult it is to know our heart, because we believe eyes then. So speak to that idea of knowing truth and knowing who you are against that truth.

Brant: Yeah. I think the wonderful thing about God creating us for community is to help speak into that. I think my heart goes really wayward left to itself. I think I get really, really weird when I’m isolated. That’s another way of saying it. (laughs) I think that’s the way it is with everybody. That’s why we’re made for each other too, we’re made for-

Jim: Boy, the pandemic would show that.

Brant: Absolutely.

Jim: With mental health issues and other things that we’ve all suffered from-

Brant: Absolutely.

Jim: … because of that.

Brant: And also the inability of people to, to really think critically or in a balanced manner. It’s very, very difficult in isolation. So I think listening to people, letting people be, be corrective of you. Especially if you’re in a leadership situation like you are, or like I know a lot of people are. The worst leaders are the ones that just go with their opinions.

Jim: Okay, so here’s the tough question within the Christian community. Why is there so much brittleness in Christian leadership? Meaning, so much failure. Why.. .how did we end up getting, uh, foggy in our sight ourselves and our relationship to Christ?

Brant: One thing I, I do talk about in the book, and I know you’ve probably talked about the book The Blessing. I think it’s Gary Smalley or [crosstalk]-

Jim: Yep, right. Yeah, Gary. That’s right.

Brant: So good ’cause they’re talking about how we’re all looking for this blessing that we want God to tell us that we’re significant, that we’re loved, that we’re secure. Those three things, I think that’s what every human being is looking for.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Brant: So I talk about that because I think that’s where that’s coming from. For whatever reason, that sometimes it’s a CEO. Sometimes it’s, uh, somebody else in leadership, or a boss or someone. There’s this weird insecurity. Like, why are you insecure? And I don’t think we’ve absorbed the blessing from God that we… I don’t think we’ve really, we’ve really realized just how good He is.

Jim: Yeah.

Brant: So we’re still chafing and striving and pushing and trying to be something that… We don’t have to do that anymore. I think absorbing the gospel, of the good news about how God really relates to us frees us up.

Jim: Yeah.

Brant: To be a blessing to other people, instead of constantly trying to protect my own turf, or prove that I’m awesome.

Jim: You know, one of the things that comes up when I’m speaking particularly to non-believers, just having a discussion with people that don’t believe in Christ-

Brant: Uh-huh.

Jim: … or don’t have a relationship with Christ, um, is evil. You know, is there really evil in the world? Of course, there’s these spikes of evil. Hitler. And in your book you talk about the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

Brant: Mm-hmm.

Jim: As kind of the poster person for the depravity of, of human beings. What point are you making in that regard? Does evil exist to all those that might be listening, thinking, “Well, you know, I think evil may be a mirage.”

Brant: The reas-

Jim: But these are bad people.

Brant: Yeah, the reason I picked them was because you want to pick somebody who’s not the Nazis, just to be different. Um, honestly. And they killed millions of men, women, and children. And they justified it in their heads. Like, “Well, you had to be there,” was kind of their excuse years later. Decades later, after what they did to their own people, they-

Jim: Yeah, killing millions.

Brant: They still say, “Well, we were justified. It was actually… We, we’re not bad people.” And I use that as an extreme example to show the capability of the human brain. Again, to, to reengineer and justify anything. We’re capable of justifying anything, and that, when you get a good look at it, is what’s animating a lot of our daily activities, and the activities of people around us, I think. It’s just, we’re, we’re trying to justify ourselves.

Jim: Mm-hmm. Uh, let’s spend some time talking about what to do about our problem of self-righteousness. I mean, that’s the best thing. And this is a great title. It’s winsome, it’s funny. It’s accurate. That’s what makes it so, um, compelling. In the Bible, the book of Matthew says, “Whoever finds their life will lose it, whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” How do we set our egos aside and be more selfless, which is the character of God?

Brant: I think there’s something to an AA meeting, where people come in, and they just say the truth about themselves. Like, an acknowledgement. And most people… Even at their worst, even at the bottom of the gutter of their lives, they still won’t own up to the fact that they’ve got a problem. But I think if we could be desperate for God, like somebody’s who’s come to AA, they’re desperate. I think that’s the only solution. I think God’s desperately waiting for us to be desperate, honestly.

Jim: Huh.

Brant: He’s still… Like, there’s a lot of us church folk, uh, counting myself included that still think we’re pretty good. Not realizing our failure to love as He does. I mean, if you’re just thinking, “Well, I can’t think… I didn’t kill anybody today, or whatever, not since last week, or whatever.” Like, whatever you’re justifying in your head, yeah, but how many times have I failed to love people? How about if I’m just desperate for God, where I just sing, “Lord, have mercy on me. I’m a sinner.” How about just that? That puts us in that frame of mind where now, now you can work with somebody like that. This is where the person starts to get through life, and they start to battle, um, and we become a different person who can be taught.

Jim: Yeah. I mean, that is, uh, evidence of humility.

Brant: Yeah.

Jim: When you can respond in that way.

Brant: Can finally be taught.

Jim: Yeah.

Brant: And I, I want to be taught. And I want to be able to learn, and I want to rethink.

John: Yeah. Yeah, as I’ve been reading through the Old Testament, time and again, there’s a certain self-reliance, arrogance, overconfidence, and God says, “No.” Um, or there’s a humility before him, and He says, “I’ll bless that.” Uh, so the scripture’s full of incidents where God has shown that point that you’re making.

Brant: When you see this, it’s like the Matrix or something, like, when you see how humans act. What’s actually motivating our behavior for righteousness, it’s so confirms the biblical worldview.

Jim: Yeah.

Brant: There’s no way around this. That’s why it’s so fascinating to me to read Nobel Prize winners arriving at Jesus’ conclusions, and I was just reading in Joshua the other day, where there’s just… I can’t remember the verse or chapter. I can never remember that stuff. But it says something like, it, “Joshua decided not to seek the Lord’s direction in this decision.”

Jim: (laughs)

Brant: And then-

John: You don’t have to guess where that’s gonna go, right?

Brant: (laughs) Exactly. And it just kind of unspools, this long list, and then that happened because he didn’t ask. Then that happened because he didn’t ask. I’m just thinking-

Jim: Yeah.

Brant: “I don’t ask for God’s direction that often.”

Jim: Right.

Brant: Not enough.

Jim: Right.

Brant: And it’s because I kind of think I’ve got this. But man, shouldn’t I ask? And wouldn’t life go better? And wouldn’t I be more of a blessing to people if I did? So I’m just confirming what you were just saying-

Jim: Yeah.

Brant: … that is so true. That is such a theme of the entire Bible.

Jim: Well, in fact, you write in the book, you are queuing these up perfectly for me-

Brant: (laughs)

Jim: … something about running out of gas, which, uh, was one of your, uh, desperate moments.

Brant: Yes.

Jim: What happened?

Brant: Well, this is back in high school, it’s one of those awful stories being from a small town, but my friend ran out of gas, and he stayed with his girlfriend, and I ran off. This is in the middle of nowhere, flat, Illinois, rural area. I ran for miles.

Jim: (laughs)

Brant: Trying to find somewhere to get ga- I didn’t even know what the plan was. I finally arrive at this little town. I knock on a guy’s door. It’s 10:30 at night.

Jim: On foot.

Brant: On foot.

Jim: (laughs)

Brant: Just a teenage guy, shows up at a door in the dark, and the guy’s like, “What do you want?” He’s an older fella. And I said, uh, I said, “I… We ran out of gas,” and he’s like, uh, he didn’t believe me. Then I said, “Sir, if you have any gas, I will literally just… I’ll hold it in my mouth-”

Jim: (laughs)

Brant: … “and run to the gas tank and spit in the gas tank if I have to.” And he was like, “Okay. Then let me help you.”

Jim: Oh.

Brant: And he gives me a ride, gets his gas can-

Jim: Huh.

Brant: … all that sort of stuff. Bailed us out. And he told me later it’s because I was desperate. He could see the desperation.

Jim: Huh.

Brant: And I do think that God is, is looking for us to finally have that. I never see Jesus turning away a desperate person, never. Whatever their moral background, or, or whatever. He’s, he always responds to that desperation.

Jim: Yeah.

Brant: So we maybe should get desperate about ourselves, and then see where life takes us, ’cause God’s good.

Jim: Yeah, that’s so good. Uh, the opposite of being self-reliant and finding our worth in performance is simply letting go and resting in Christ. That’s a tough concept, ’cause we are, you know, especially in Western culture, especially in the United States, and I think it’s true in Canada. I’ll include our Canadian friends. We have this, uh, kind of pioneer spirit, this, this self-reliance attitude.

Brant: Mm-hmm.

Jim: This independent streak. Um, I think in some ways it may be harder for us culturally, from what we learn from the culture, to let that go.

Brant: I think so.

Jim: And rest in God.

Brant: And we see that as being part of being a good person. That’s something that’s-

Jim: Yeah, right-

Brant: … a part of our culture-

Jim: … it’s rewarded.

Brant: … too is that this makes me a good person.

Jim: So how do we, how do we readjust our own thinking that way, that bringing a good Christian, a person that wants to follow Christ means you have to rely on God?

Brant: I think a lot, this is maybe not the best answer. But for a lot of us, we just aren’t actually in community with people. And to have people-

Jim: To challenge us.

Brant: Challenge us.

Jim: (laughs)

Brant: Check us on things. Call us. To actually know us. A lot of us aren’t known.

Jim: Yeah.

Brant: So we’re able to get away with faulty thinking.

Jim: Yeah.

Brant: But if we can actually be known, um, that’s a very sharpening thing, and a very beautiful thing, and it helps us grow up.

Jim: You know, um, as a parent, and we’ll end in this area, parenting, uh, young people today, and there’s some younger people in the audience outside the glass here listening to us. But, uh, parenting in this environment is really hard, and I think if we have more of this attitude as parents, our children, will actually, uh, respond to that. Because I think as… This is part of the hypocrisy that they see. I mean, I think teenagers particularly. They’re like, in some ways, they are real hypervigilant truth seekers.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And when they see their Christian parents living in such a way that they’re not humble, they look down at people, uh, we say things that we shouldn’t say about people. And they hear it, ’cause they’re in the car with us. Um, it frames something for them that’s unhealthy, right?

Brant: It does, and they hear you justifying things.

Jim: Yeah.

Brant: Imagine that. They’re a party, they’re an audience to you making excuses for yourself so you can feel like you’re a good person. They see this all the time.

Jim: Yeah.

Brant: So for you to break through with humility, especially as they get older, to be able to say, “I don’t know what we’re doing.” I’ve got a friend who’s transitioning jobs. He just left this really successful Christian band, and he’s taking on a new job, and the money’s not rolling in yet. He doesn’t know where it’s coming from. He’s like, every night I’m telling my kids about this, ’cause I want them to see the story.

Jim: Wow.

Brant: So he’s openly saying, “I don’t have all the answers, but we’re gonna trust God.” Like, dude, that’s brilliant. Your kids will never forget that.

Jim: Oh, good lesson.

Brant: Yes, and, and-

Jim: In faith.

Brant: In faith. And it’s by acknowledging, “I don’t know everything. I don’t have this all figured out.” But now you’re taking your kids on a real faith adventure.

Jim: Yeah.

Brant: They will never forget that. It’s just the genuineness of going, “Why am I trying to prove myself all the time?” This is… God’s the one who’s the provable one. (laughs)

Jim: Yeah.

Brant: Like, He’s the one that matters.

Jim: Brant, I’m thinking as the last question here. I’m, I’m thinking of that person that’s been listening, and, uh, they’re in that 93%. (laughs)

Brant: Mm-hmm.

Jim: They think they’re pretty good.

Brant: Pretty good, yeah.

Jim: And their life is pretty good. You know, they treat people fairly. They may look down on other people that don’t act the way they wanna, want them to act, et cetera. What do you say to that person to crack open their heart, to say, “Could you just look at this a little differently?” I mean, Jesus saying-

Brant: Yeah.

Jim: “You’re a bunch of evil doers.” That’s, (laughs), that’s a good place to start.

Brant: Pretty convicting, yeah.

Jim: But maybe that’s not working for them.

Brant: Well-

Jim: How- how do you look at yourself if you’re a good person? It… I feel sometimes when we’re talking about the gospel with people, some of the most difficult people to reach are good people, because they don’t understand why I need Jesus.

Brant: Yeah.

Jim: I’m a good person. I do good toward other people. And how would you facilitate a deeper discussion with that personality type?

Brant: Here’s, here’s why I think I, this can work, and why I think the book can work. That is, if you give it to somebody or you’re reading it, it’s not just you. This is all of us.

Jim: This is humanity.

Brant: This is all of us, and that 93% will say, “Oh, I do see it with everybody else.”

Jim: (laughs)

Brant: So, like, okay, but they’re probably reasonable enough. This is the problem that we all have. So it’s not a guilt trip. Again, there’s some things that are just plain amusing about how we justify stuff, how we justify buying decisions or talk ourselves into… We go in with a budget to buy a used car, and we drive out with a $30,000 brand new whatever. Like, that wasn’t in the plan. But we justified it. This is all of us. So I think there’s a universality to it that can help people receive it. Um, and also to see it in another people and know, this is how humans actually work, and, uh, we all need help with this.

Jim: Wow, and then apply what Christ has told us.

Brant: Yeah.

Jim: That’s the thing, that’s the key. Brant, this has been really good. It’s a little offbeat-

Brant: (laughs)

Jim: … but I love co-

Brant: There’s that word again.

Jim: No, I love the content. You know-

Brant: Yeah.

Jim: … I love your title, The Truth About Us: The Very Good News About How Very Bad We Are. It kind of starts, every part of it starts right there.

Brant: Yes.

Jim: The realization that we’re sinners, thankfully saved by grace, right?

Brant: And living in reality can make your life better. Like-

Jim: Yeah.

Brant: … this is the thing. Jesus is not gonna make your life. He’s making it better.

Jim: (laughs) That is so true, and so good. Thank you so much for being with us.

Brant: Thank you guys.

Jim: If you would like a copy of Brant’s book, uh, get in touch with us, and if you can help us, be a part of the ministry, uh, join us monthly, support us monthly, uh, or even a one-time gift, we’ll send you a copy of the book as our way of saying thank you.

John: Our number’s 800, the little A, and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459, or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Well, be sure to join us next time on this broadcast as Jeff and Cheryl Scruggs tell their remarkable story of how God restored their marriage after their divorce.

Preview:

Cheryl Scruggs: I watched soap operas growing up, and that is really probably where I got my idea of what I thought marriage was supposed to be like.

Today's Guests

Cover image of the book "The Truth About Us: The Very Good News About How Very Bad We Are"

The Truth About Us: The Very Good News About How Very Bad We Are

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