Sermon quotes on



Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.


Marcus Aurelius

Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize? 



John Calvin

Man is never sufficiently touched and affected by the awareness of his lowly state until he has compared himself with God’s majesty. 

Institutes of the Christian Religion.



Anthony de Mello

Wisdom tends to grow in proportion to one’s awareness of one’s ignorance.

One Minute Wisdom, Crown Publishing Group: New York. 2012.

Daniel Goleman

Emotional self-awareness is the building block of the next fundamental emotional intelligence: being able to shake off a bad mood.

Emotional Intelligence


Ronald A. Heifetz

In the heat of leadership, with the adrenaline pumping, it is easy to convince yourself that you are not subject to the normal human frailties that can defeat ordinary mortals. You begin to act as if you are indestructible. But the intellectual, physical, and emotional challenges of leadership are fierce. So, in addition to getting on the being and assess the tolls those changes are taking. If you don’t, your seemingly indestructible self can self-destruct. This, by the way, is an ideal outcome for your foes-and even friends who oppose your initiative- because no one has to feel responsible for your downfall.

The Practice of Adaptive Leadership


Carl Jung

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.


Gretchen Rubin

Self-awareness is a key to self-mastery.

Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives

Seneca the Younger

The worse a person is the less he feels it.



The unexamined life is not worth living.

Ray C. Stedman

True prayer is an awareness of our helpless need and an acknowledgment of divine adequacy.

Authentic Christianity: The Classic Bestseller on Living the Life of Faith with Integrity, Discovery House, 2011, p.17. 

Walt Whitman

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.


Oscar Wilde

The final mystery is oneself.

Philip Yancey

The proof of spiritual maturity is not how pure you are but awareness of your impurity. That very awareness opens the door to grace.

Timothy Keller

If I am in denial about my own weaknesses and sin, there will be a concomitant blindness to the greatness and glory of God.

 Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God.

Francis De Sales

Several times during the day, but especially in the morning and evening, ask yourself for a moment if you have your soul in your hands or if some passion or fit of anxiety has robbed you of it…. If you have gone astray, quietly bring your soul back to the presence of God, subjecting all your affections and desires to the obedience and direction of His Divine Will.

Introduction to a Devout Life

Thomas Merton

Real self-conquest is the conquest of ourselves not by ourselves but by the Holy Spirit. Self-conquest is really self-surrender. Yet before we can surrender ourselves, we must become ourselves. For no one can give up what he does not possess.

Thoughts in Solitude

Flannery O’Connor

To know oneself, is above all, to know what one lacks. It is to measure oneself against the Truth, and not the other way around.

The Fiction Writer and His Country in The Complete Stories

Simon Baron-Cohen

Empathy often goes hand-in-hand with self-awareness. The people who are good at empathy are not only good at picking up on other people’s feelings, but they—they’re also good at reflecting on their own behavior.

 Does Empathy Explain Cruelty?,” Science Friday, September 30, 2011, 

William Shakespeare

‘He hath ever but slenderly known himself.”

King Lear

Augustine of Hippo

God, always the same, let me know myself, let me know Thee!

The Soliloquies of St. Augustine, book II, I, trans. Rose Elizabeth Cleveland, Little, Brown.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“Every man has reminiscences which he would not tell to everyone, but only to his friends. He has other matters in his mind which he would not reveal even to his friends, but only to himself, and that in secret. But there are other things which a man is afraid to tell even to himself, and every decent man has a number of such things stored away in his mind.”

Notes from the Underground

John Calvin

The knowledge of God and the knowledge of ourselves are bound together by a mutual tie.

Institutes of the Christian Religion, ch. 1, sec. 3.


Bernard of Clairvaux

Know yourself and you will have a wholesome fear of God; know him and you will also love him.

Sermon 37: Knowledge and Ignorance of God and of Self,” in Commentary on the Song of Songs, trans. Matthew Henry, Jürgen Beck.

H.F. Henrichs

Know Thyself-but don’t tell anyone.

Wayne Stiles

We think our problem is with God, but remember, God is perfect. Our problem is really with ourselves.

Waiting on God, Baker Publishing Group, 2015, p.53.

Carl Jung

People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own souls.

Chaim Potok

“One learns of the pain of others by suffering own’s own pain, my father would say, by turning inside oneself, by finding one’s own soul. And it is important to know of pain, he said.”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones

We spend the whole of our whole lives watching ourselves. But when a man becomes meek he has finished/

Studies in the Sermon on the Mount (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1959–60), p.57.

Iris Murdoch

Love . . . is the extremely difficult realization that something other than oneself is real.

Christopher Alexander

We are not always comfortable with the true self that lies deep within us.

The Luminous Ground: The Nature of Order (Berkeley, CA: Center for Environmental Structure, 2002), 297.

Ruth Burrows

I was born into this world with a tortured sensitivity. For long I have puzzled over the causes of my psychological anguish.

Arthur W. Pink

The great mistake made by most of the Lord’s people is in hoping to discover in themselves that which is to be found in Christ alone.

The Doctrine of Sanctification (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1955), p.200

Dennis Linn

The examen makes us aware of moments that at first we might easily pass by as insignificant, moments that ultimately can give direction for our lives.

Thales of Miletus

The most difficult thing in life is to know yourself.

Quoted in Henry Southgate, Many Thoughts of Many Minds: A Treasury of Reference (London: Griffin, Bohn, and Company, 1862), 338.

John O’Donohue

When we devote no time to the inner life, we lose the habit of soul. If we fail to acquaint ourselves with soul, we will remain strangers in our own lives.

Parker J. Palmer

There is no way out of one’s inner life, so one had better get into it. On the inward and downward spiritual journey, the only way out is through.

Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2000), 85.

Viktor Frankl

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

Man’s Search for Meaning (Boston, MA: Beach Press, 2006), 112.

Carl Jung

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.

C. Sreechinth, Musings of Carl Jung (Roosevelt, UT: UB Tech, 2018), 41.

John O’Donohue

When we devote no time to the inner life, we lose the habit of soul. If we fail to acquaint ourselves with soul, we will remain strangers in our own lives.

Jiddu Krishnamurti

To observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.


William Ury

Psychologists have estimated that we have anywhere between twelve thousand and sixty thousand thoughts a day. The majority of those—as high as 80 percent—are thought to be negative: obsessing about mistakes, battling guilt, or thinking about inadequacies.

Getting to Yes with Yourself: How to Get What You Truly Want (HarperOne, 2016)

William Ury

Self-judgment may be the greatest barrier to self-understanding.

Getting to Yes with Yourself: How to Get What You Truly Want (HarperOne, 2016)

William Shakespeare

He hath ever but slenderly known himself.

King Lear

John Calvin

Our wisdom, in so far as it ought to be deemed true and solid Wisdom, consists almost entirely of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves. But as these are connected together by many ties, it is not easy to determine which of the two precedes and gives birth to the other.

Institutes of the Christian Religion 1.1

Thomas Merton

Every one of us is shadowed by an illusory person: a false self … We are not very good at recognizing illusions, least of all the ones we cherish about ourselves.

New Seeds of Contemplation (New Directions, 2007).

Thomas Merton

Contemplation is not and cannot be a function of this external self. There is an irreducible opposition between the deep transcendent self that awakens only in contemplation, and the superficial, external self which we commonly identify with the first person singular.

New Seeds of Contemplation (New Directions, 2007).

Jonathan Franzen

This wasn’t the person he’d thought he was, or would have chosen to be if he’d been free to choose, but there was something comforting and liberating about being an actual definite someone, rather than a collection of contradictory potential someones.

Freedom (Picador, 2014)

Corrie ten Boom

If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. If you look at God, you’ll be at rest.

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