David Benner is an author in the genre of spiritual formation books.
In his book Sacred Companions in a chapter called ‘Hospitatlity, Presence & Dialogue’ Benner talks about how important it is to know yourself. Several of our past Midday guests have brought that concept to the table: Gordon and Gail MacDonald, Janet Davis, Leslie Vernick and Jennifer Degler, just to name a few. However, it remains a controversial topic within the Christian community.
I offer this quote from David Benner and would love to see a good conversation ensue. I did this recently on my Facebook page and I was surprised at the variety of thoughts and opinions on the topic.
Benner says, “Spirituality not grounded in humanness is no earthly good. Worse, it can actually be dangerous.” Further down the page he says, “This draws our attention to the importance and interdependence of knowing both God and self. As argued by John Calvin in the opening pages of his Institutes of the Christian Religion, there is no deep knowing of God apart from a deep knowing of self and no deep knowing of self apart from a deep knowing of God. Meister Eckhart, the fourteenth century Christian mystic and theologian, said the same thing two centuries earlier. Knowing God and knowing self are both necessary for wholeness and holiness.
How tragic it is when a person invests all his or her energy in knowing God and none in genuinely knowing him or herself. And how terrifying when such a person is in a position of leadership or influence. Christian maturity demands that we know God and ourselves, recognizing that deep knowing of each supports deeper knowing of the other.”
What do you think?
Anita Lustrea is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and has worked for Moody Radio since 1984. She is a sought-after conference and retreat speaker and loves to connect with Midday Connection listeners face-to-face. Anita lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, Mike, and her son, John. To learn more about Anita, her speaking schedule and her blog, please visit her website.