Our lack of self awareness is killing us and driving others crazy.
A maxim used by the ancient Greeks γνῶθι σεαυτόν translated is “know thyself.” In numerous ancient writings the phrase carries the idea that without knowing who you truly are and what strengths and weaknesses you actually have, you place yourself and others in great danger. Even in the Catholic tradition they have the discipline of mortification, in which the purpose is a greater self-awareness along with seeking help and guidance so that you can pursue a right and true life before God. Dr. Timothy Keller believes that this healthy self-awareness has nearly been abandoned in modern Christianity. Think about it. Even in church we look for our truth without weighing it through the lens of other believers. The infamous phrase, “God is calling me…” has become the trump card to brush off all other spiritual wisdom and blindly move forward. The first step in “knowing yourself” is listening. Not to the echo chamber of your own will and desires played over and over again in your mind, but to others. Without real honest feedback you will work to build a world that blindly supports your blind heart. This will ultimately hurt others. Here is the question we must all ask: Who has the right to say to us, “Nope, you’re wrong and I don’t think that is actually from God”? Who actually has the right to question your motives and cause you to pause before taking action? Who can call out your blind spots and, perhaps most importantly, who will you allow to speak into your blind spots? The first step in γνῶθι σεαυτόν is to listen with true humility. If you don’t, and the ancients are right, your blind spots pose a real danger.