Discernment (individual)

Spiritualpractice 19
Christians believe we are not alone in the midst of uncertain insights and conflicting impulses. Discernment is the intentional practice by which a community or an individual seeks, recognizes, and intentionally takes part in the activity of God in concrete situations. What does God want me to do? How can I know for sure? These are the basic questions which discernment asks. We yearn for divine guidance, especially when voices within us seem to conflict. How do we tell the difference between self-deception and God’s leading? The aim of discernment is to enhance one’s participation in the work of God, for the glory of God and the healing of the world. There is no method that guarantees how the Spirit will be discerned because the Holy Spirit can’t be captured in a formula. But we can learn ways to practice discernment that help counter self-deception and heighten the possibility that God’s Spirit can be known. Discernment is not a trick or a technique but an attitude: it requires an attitude of listening, attentiveness, openness, and humility as we seek for clues in our prayer, our experience, our conversation with people who matter to us.