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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Discernment ?

How do you discern what is the right thing to do, or not to do?

I often have the most trouble with this quandary when I feel that I have been "wronged," or "mistreated" by someone.

My initial reaction is to say "The Hell with you," and separate myself from them and anything they are connected with.

As you can imagine, in a ministry, or a service profession, you probably don't want to throw away all of your work, just because you get mad.

I recently had a situation where I was let down, angered, and upset by an individual. My wife and I took the comments personally
(probably because they appeared to be directed toward us, and others like us).
Our initial reaction was to sever the relationship, run far away, which also meant to abruptly quit the volunteer work that we had been invested in.

It sure is a weird phenomenon, when you get upset with someone, that anger can continue to grow if you don't catch yourself.

It becomes easier and easier to see the other person's negative qualities the more you look.

However, then grace appears.

The heart begins to soften.

Not that you forget the actions of the other person, but the hurt lessens to some degree,
and the bigger picture then comes back into focus.

You know, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water" concept.

The ministry doesn't exist for the person, but rather, the ministry is the ministry.
The reward is not in the praise, or acceptance.
The reward is in the persevering and in the service to the people, even through obstacles.

I am a little slow, and I require Gods intervention to keep me from totally screwing things up.

I try not to hold grudges, but those "lets downs" don't entirely go away.

So how do you know the proper discernment in a situation?

I think the answer to this question can come in different forms. For some, they need an intellectual justification, a clear and logical understanding of the situation.

For me, it is quite the contrary, it is my mind that will get me in trouble.

It is my heart that I must follow.
If my reaction to a situation leaves me with an ongoing unsettled feeling, I begin to realize that I am venturing off in the wrong direction.

I don't enjoy conflict, so my initial reaction is often an unsettled feeling, especially if I find the need to stand up against a strong personality.

But, if after some time, that feeling doesn't resolve to a feeling of peace, then I am left inquiring about a better discernment.

For me, one of my biggest struggles is not "wining the fight."
Maybe I need to be the positive "Christ-Like" force to battle against the evil.

Stepping away from the situation might just be empowering the evil.

I am slowly learning that humble persistence is often a stronger weapon than strength, power, and voice.

Back to the question about Discernment; how do you know that you are discerning a situation correctly?

I can only give you my perception of this huge life lasting question.

It is "To follow the peace."

No not that type of peace!

The tranquil type of peace.

When those difficult experiences and situations jump into our lives, we should quickly ask God to be with us while we figure out what to do.

Believe it or not, those difficult experiences are actually gifts from God.

Yes, you did read me correctly.....
Those hurtful, painful experiences are actually gifts from God.
If it wasn't for these situations, we might not be forced to grow; to grow spiritually, personally, and emotionally. We should actually thank God for allowing this troubling situation into our lives.
As we discern our actions, and then act on our actions, we should find an immediate relief of peace when we begin to journey toward the proper and just decision.
I have never been steered wrong by following the peace, in turn what i perceive to be following the grace, and to be following the Holy Spirit.

Another life lesson in my world........

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