IN THE FULL VISION of the scriptures, discernment requires not just that we distinguish between good and evil, but even between one good and another. Faithful discernment thrusts upon us that piercing question, What is the higher good?
“Do not be conformed to this world,” writes the apostle Paul to the Christians at Rome, “but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2). Discernment is about more than taking this or that course of action in life, more than deciding whether to give time to this cause or that project. Discernment is ultimately about doing the will of the living God. Paul enjoins his listeners to follow a way of sorting, sifting, seeing clearly the desires of God. In a similar vein, the author of the First Letter of John writes, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (1 John 4:1).
—Marjorie J. Thompson and Stephen V. Doughty
The Way of Discernment Participant’s Book
Companions in Christ Series
From page 18 of The Way of Discernment Participant’s Book, Companions in Christ Series by Marjorie J. Thompson and Stephen V. Doughty. Copyright © 2008 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.
Have you ever had someone else mislead you to choose the wrong path? How did you ultimately realize others misled you? Share your thoughts.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
—1 John 4:1 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Creator God, Show me the way that is good and acceptable and perfect. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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