I see Christian Science ads on buses around town which say, “Know Yourself, Know Peace.” That is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever read.
I know all about myself: My bad habits, my character defects, and my idiosyncrasies. Knowing these things does not give me peace…all it does is help me understand why I do some of the screwed up things I do.
I believe that by knowing more about who God is I can trust Him more fully, and that will give me peace. Furthermore, I believe God designed me and everything around me. Asking the designed thing, rather than the Designer, what the designed thing’s purpose is, is silly!
If I asked a kitchen knife what its purpose is, it could look at itself and say: “Well, I’ve got a handle, which means I suppose that someone is supposed to hold me…but if no-one is holding me, am I useless? I continue to exist despite the fact that no hand is holding me, so perhaps I don’t need to be held after all. Then there’s the fact that one of my metal edges is very sharp. This probably means that I was made to cut things, but what kind of things? Shouldn’t I get to choose whether to cut vegetables or hurt someone badly? Since I know myself well enough to sense that I have a handle and a sharp edge, perhaps that means I know myself well enough to determine my own destiny and have peace.”
This kind of thinking would not work for a kitchen knife, and it does not work for me. I want the One who designed me to tell me who I am and what I am supposed to do. I am tired of coming up with my own plans, only to see those plans hurt myself and those around me. I do not know why I was gifted with intelligence and empathy, but I would wager it was not so I to manipulate people into giving me what I want. Sadly, that is exactly how I’ve used these gifts in the past when I charted my own course. Enough is enough.
Who do you spend more time and energy getting to know: Yourself, or God?