SELF-KNOWLEDGE

A Modern writer of parables might tell a story of a young man who went to the Temple of Desire, where he was offered the choice of two gifts: a chest of gold or self-knowledge. Without hesitation he chose the former. Years later, he returned and was offered the same gifts. This time he eagerly threw aside the empty treasure chest and accepted the gift of self-knowledge.

Solomon might be said to have made this latter choice upon his becoming king of Israel. "In Gibeon," the Bible narrates, "the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee" (I Kings 3:5). Solomon's choice is told in these words: "Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?" An understanding heart is essentially self-knowledge, for who can understand others without first understanding himself?

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"I WILL BETROTH THEE UNTO ME FOR EVER"
November 14, 1959
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