“Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.”
~ Lao Tzu
The kings were an important part of Israel’s heritage for it was the kings who set the people on a particular direction. Some of the kings were more important not only for who they were but for what they did. In the time of King Solomon, the temple was at its height of glory and the kingdom stood firm. Solomon was known for his wisdom. If you remember the story, God told Solomon to ask for whatever he wanted and Solomon asked for wisdom rather than for riches or glory. Because he chose rightly, God told him that he would be granted a wisdom beyond compare as well as riches, fame, and power.
We often spend an inordinate amount of time trying to know others. We do so because we might need them for a favor sometime. Or, perhaps, we work for them and want to know what they expect. We use that knowledge for our own benefit.
Knowing ourselves, though, is a much higher pursuit and is true wisdom.
There are many forms of prayer that help us to contemplate God and to open ourselves up to God’s direction. In order to be as disposed as possible to what God wants of us, we have to come to know ourselves. We have to know our strengths and our weaknesses. We have to know how we might be disposed to fail. We have to know our limitations. Coming to this kind of knowledge is true wisdom, something that is lacking in many people.
When we go off blindly pursuing something without taking into account our limitations, we are destined to fail. It is only in coming to know ourselves that we can be the best servant possible for our God. Today’s Jesse Tree symbol is a temple, the reflection of the wisdom of Solomon.
FAITH ACTION: Ask God to give you the insight that you need so that you can come to know yourself and accept yourself, limitations and all.