Posted in FellowshipBurningHeart, Knowing God, Sanctification, Self-Awareness, Spiritual Direction, Spiritual Formation, Uncategorized, tagged Fellowship of the Burning Heart, John Calvin, Knowing God, Knowing Yourself, Sanctification, Spiritual Formation, Thomas A'Kempis on August 26, 2011 |
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by Thomas a Kempis
Every man naturally wants to know, but what is the good of knowledge without the fear of God? …He who knows himself well becomes cheap in his own eyes, and takes no pleasure in the praises of men.
And foolish indeed is he who gives his attention to other things than those which make for his salvation.
The greater and better your knowledge, so much the more severely will you be judged, unless you have lived a more holy life.
This is the highest knowledge and the most useful lesson – to have true understanding and small opinion of oneself. To hold no high opinion of oneself, and always to judge well and highly of others, is great wisdom and high perfection.
by John Calvin
Nearly all the wisdom we possess, that is to say, true and sound wisdom, consists of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves. …In the first place, no one can look upon himself without immediately turning his thoughts to the contemplation of God, in whom he “lives and moves.”
Each of us must, then, be so stung by the consciousness of his own unhappiness as to attain at least some knowledge of God. Thus, from the feeling of our own ignorance, vanity, poverty, infirmity, and – what is more – depravity and corruption, we recognize that the true light of wisdom, sound virtue, full abundance of every good, and purity of righteousness, rest in the Lord alone.
To this extent we are prompted by our own ills to contemplate the good things of God; and we cannot seriously aspire to him before we begin to become displeased with ourselves.
Accordingly, the knowledge of ourselves not only arouses us to seek God, but also as it were, leads us by the hand to find him.
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I have about five or six articles in my head on the subject of self-awareness. It’s a bit of a buzzword, at least in some circles, but it’s a very important concept, especially in leadership. I serve on several leadership committees and we find ourselves talking about self-awareness often.
I’m happy to report that now I don’t have to write those articles because Tim Elmore has written a terrific post on the importance of self-awareness. You will relate to what he’s talking about before you finish reading the first paragraph. I highly recommend it. He also has some good ideas about how to keep watch over your own self-awareness (or lack thereof).
Here’s an excerpt…
Has this ever happened to you? You are waiting at a store counter, ready to pay for the items you’ve chosen and the young clerk pays no attention to the fact that you’re there. They are chatting with a friend, filing their finger nails, or lost in a texting match on their cell phone. You clear your throat, attempting to allow them to notice you without losing their dignity. They still don’t seem to care. When they finally look up, they saunter over to you, but don’t give any eye contact. As they interact with you—they behave as if you are intruding on their time and space. You almost can’t believe what’s happening, but you do because it’s happening more and more these days.
This happened to me last week, and I couldn’t help myself. I looked at the young staff member and diplomatically said: “I’m not sure if this makes sense, but usually if someone is trying to give you money, you should make it an easy and positive experience—at least as much as possible.” I don’t think he understood my words.
Click here to read the whole piece.
Here’s to self-awareness.
Joy and Truth,
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