AT ITS ROOTS and foundation, both personally and with others, discernment calls to us through simple, raw desire—desire to find the right way, to choose the right path, to gain clarity about our God-given purpose and what we can offer to the world around us.
Even as discernment beckons through our inmost desires, it stretches out as a path before us and invites us to enter. The word discernment itself implies the existence of a pathway toward greater clarity in our times of wondering. It comes from the Latin discernere, meaning “to separate,” “to distinguish.” The word discernment denotes an activity or process. It suggests that when we yearn to find what is right and fitting, there will be a means to do so. On the most elemental level, to discern is to sort and sift through the possibilities when we face a variety of choices. It is to distinguish and separate the alternatives. The very word discernment thus suggests a helpful means of going forward.
—Marjorie J. Thompson and Stephen V. Doughty
The Way of Discernment Participant’s Book, Companions in Christ Series
From pages 16–17 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.
What decisions in life are the hardest for you to discern? Share your thoughts.
Do not be conformed to this world, 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.
—Romans 12:2 (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.
Join the staff of The Upper Room in praying for the victims and their families of the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. Pray with us.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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