Discernment - discovering God's will for our lives - is not always easy. But there are a few basic rules that can help you get started.
- Trust that God loves you madly, more than you love you. And trust God will communicate what's best for your well-being.
- Be kind to yourself and don't fret. God is like a good coach, and looks for your best effort, not perfect decisions.
- Search your heart to identify your desires, attachments, habits, and lifestyle. Ask God to help you set all of that aside so you want only what God wants.
- Identify if you're in consolation or desolation. In desolation don't make any new decision. And don't change a decision made in consolation. Instead, pray more, ask forgiveness for sin. Wait.
- Listen to your affectivity (feelings) because God speaks through them. Clarify your strongest feeling. Then ask God what value you hold that generates that feeling, and whose standard it falls under: God or evil.
- Imagine the outcome and consequences of each option. How will you feel about a particular choice on your deathbed? How might God respond to the choice?
- Discernment requires community. Talk to someone about your decision. Get a reality check. Hear yourself talk about the choice.
|What you'll notice in choosing between Good (not sinful) things|
|Tries to turn a good start to evil end||Helps us discover the right decision|
|Gives false consolation||True Consolation|
|Tries to change focus to self||Gives consolation when focused on God|
|Disturbs the peace||Delights & encourages|
|Tempts me to change decision through desolation||Gives freedom to follow Christ’s Standard|
|Stings conscience with pride about my choice||Supports us in sticking with decision|