Discernment is key to spiritual growth and having an adult faith.
Rather than looking for someone else to "tell you what to do or believe," how does one sift through the options, choices and voices using Biblical wisdom? Well let's give it a try.
Pick an issue for discernment. This could be the way you are currently praying or living, a choice or difficulty you're confronted with, options you're mulling over, a theological belief you're questioning, a relationship situation, or a change that's approaching.
Use the questions below. With your issue for discernment in mind, you're going to ask questions springing from the overall themes of Scripture. It's true, one can pull any Scripture from its context to justify any belief or choice. However, just as Jesus summed up the entire Law in two commands, there are what I call “summing up” Scriptures and stories that remind us of overall themes repeated again and again in the Bible. Here is my current list of questions and their summing up references:
As I practice asking myself these questions and allowing them to run through my mind in spiritual direction, they become the unconscious filters through which I see, listen and think. Over the years I've added questions, been led deeper into the questions and discovered when/how I need to invite others into the questions (a dialogue that is different than having someone else make my decisions or tell me what to believe). Such questions can also guide communal discernment. May these questions be signposts and gateways along your path of discernment.
Kasey is a scarf, ball and club juggling spiritual director just outside of Nashville, TN. Play helps her Type-A, Enneagram 1 personality relax, creating space for poetry and other words to emerge. She also likes playing with theological ideas like perichoresis, and all the ways we're invited into this Triune dance.