What is the most important thing for your existence? In seeking to answer such a question, most Christians would say …. “Finding God, Knowing God, Loving God, or Serving God.” Others might give an answer about connecting to Christ‘s body, the Church or mention relationship with others. But very few would make any reference to Self or Knowing Self.
We are taught to deny self, to forget Self, even to put self last. Many, including myself, have taught that if you want J-O-Y, you must live a life with the following priorities in this order: Jesus first, Others second and You last. To say that we need to Know Self sounds liberal, new age or like pop psychology. But the ignoring of Knowing Self has cost us dearly.
I confess that in my years in the ministry of helping people grow spiritually, I have focused almost exclusively on helping people Know God and have spent little time helping them Know Self. But I have discovered that there is a strong interconnectedness and an interdependence between the Knowing of God and the Knowing of Self. (Knowing Self in God).
Thomas Merton (d.1968), a trappist monk from the Abbey of Gethsami in Kentucky who has been widely read by evangelicals answers the question from above, “What is the most important thing for our existence?” He says:
“There is only one problem on which all my existence, my peace, and my happiness depend: to discover myself in discovering God. If I find Him I will find myself and if I find my true self I will find Him.”