• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Self awareness is narcissism … NOT

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving ourselves.  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.  For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.  But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in doing.

(James 1:22-25)

narcissism1-300x240Self awareness is not by nature narcissism.  Self awareness through hardy self questioning, gives rise to transformation.  That’s why one “looks intently at oneself in the mirror.”  We are trying to make sure there are no smudges on our face or that our hair is combed/brushed appropriately.  Self analysis, self questioning is meant to bring about change; to not just hear how we are being “received” poorly by others, but actually working to present a godlier disposition so that we might serve others better.

So where does all this self awareness talk lead us? 

At least three very practical and specific outcomes come quickly to mind.  First, being the strong entrepreneurial and individual spirits that most of us are, we must step back from our day to day activities on a semi-regular basis and write down the feelings we may  have experienced during the day in our interactions with others.  Second, we should lay these before our Father in prayer and ask that He would open our eyes to see ‘in the mirror of His glory’ those hurtful ways which might be causing us to minister poorly to others.  Finally, we would do well, for our own growth, to share these Spirit led insights with a small group of fellow journeyers who can support and push us in our ongoing growth in Christ.

Self awareness is one element of a much needed emotional competency.  To grow in that competency, we need the Spirit, an open heart and others.

4 Responses

  1. Spot on, David!! This is really good stuff—dealing with this in my own life and in the life of one (really all) of our sub-teams in Spain! Thanks! Tim

  2. I like the title. Narcissism is self worship caused by lack of self awareness.

    Recently I read that those who feel the greatest sense of power are those most lacking in self awareness. I look back on my own leadership and realise that often when I felt most competent and in control, I was sometimes operating from the not so blissful ignorance of my need. My sense of power was based on stupidity.

    When we are not aware of our blind spots and are not getting honest feedback from others, we operate in foolishness, but still feel competent and good about ourselves. It would do us good to hear the frustration and resentment of those who are victims of our arrogant leadership if we are humble enough to really listen.

    Self awareness fosters humility. True power is leadership exercised in humility. A leader on his knees in deep dependency upon God operates out of His power.

    • The link of self awareness to gospel humility was insightful. Self awareness leads us to see ourselves for who we really are and our constant needs of a Savior to further refine (sanctify) us as we seek to serve and love others well.

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