So, I know this is a bit of a repeat from a previous post, but I was writing about knowing ourselves for work, and thought I would “repost” this. It’s something that I feel is so important, and really, a huge basis for growing in our faith and walk with Christ.
An iceberg may not look very large at first glance, but most often what we see above the surface of the water is only 10 percent. This means there is a lot of iceberg underneath the surface, which has the potential to cause much damage.
The same can be said of our spiritual lives. Often the part of our spirituality that we practice and show to others is only a small piece of our faith journey. To grow more intimate with God and ourselves, we need to take time to intentionally look deeper into our hearts and lives to see what is beneath the surface.
Augustine wrote in Confessions in A.D. 400, “How can you draw close to God when you are far from your own self?” He prayed “ Grant, Lord, that I may know myself to know thee.” (From the book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, by Pete Scazzero P.66)
There are many ways we can know ourselves to know God better. One way is to do an awareness examen. In doing this we become more aware of the thoughts and feelings within us that we may not have noticed before.
Let’s take a few minutes to do an awareness examen. If you feel uncomfortable with silence that’s ok, just try to stay focused on the questions. Set a timer for 3 minutes and reflect in silence on the questions below. Feel free to jot down some notes if you want.
Question 1: What are you mad about? (Three minutes of silence)
Question 2: What are you sad about? (Three minutes of silence)
Question 3: What are you glad about? (Three minutes of silence)
Question 4: What are you excited about? (Three minutes of silence)
Now that you’ve explored your heart, take a few minutes to talk to Jesus about what you discovered. (Three minutes)
Many of us are so unaccustomed to distinguishing our true self from our false self that it may seem difficult to know where to begin. Taking time for an awareness examen is one step you can take to become more aware of your true self. I want to encourage you to find ways to do this on your own this coming week, and to discover what Jesus is teaching you about yourself and God through this process.
Lord, teach us to know ourselves better in order to know you better. As we dig into our hearts with your loving guidance, may we feel safe in your guidance. Walk with us on this Holy Ground, and teach us your truth. In your name we pray, amen.