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Self knowledge

Self knowledge

by Ron on November 29, 2010

One of the phrases forever associated with Socrates is “Know thyself” (γνωθι σεαυτον).  Of course, it isn’t his quote, because it was supposedly found at ancient Delphi in Greece where people went to consult the oracle.

Leaders need healthy amounts of self-knowledge and self understanding.  We can get it from many sources.

This morning I was reading Psalm 139, a beautiful poem and prayer.  It carries the spiritual truth that I am already known much better and more intimately than I can ever hope to attain–by God, who created me.  The truths here give me dignity beyond the deep flaws and failings that I know I have.  The psalm says “You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13

Self knowledge is valuable, and too few leaders seek to gain sufficient self understanding to really transform their leadership.  Even more valuable is to be seen deeply, penetratingly (but not destructively) by someone who sees better than I will ever be capable of.  That is what Psalm 139 points us to, and this is a truth worth meditating on for a while.

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