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Godly Decision Making

We must understand the dynamics of discernment

• Direction and calling. How does this choice fit with the overall direction and calling of God on my life? Is there a word or phrase that captures my sense of calling these days, and will this choice enable me to continue living into my calling?

• Consolation and desolation. Which choice brings the deepest sense of life, inner peace and freedom (John 10:10; Philippians 4:7; 2 Corinthians 3:17)? As I consider moving in this particular direction, is there a growing sense of wholeness, authenticity and congruence with who I am in God?

• Desire. What is my deepest and most authentic desire relative to the choice I am facing? What is my response when Jesus asks, "What do you want me to do for you? What is it you seek?"

• Scripture. Is there a particular Scripture that God is bringing to mind relative to this choice? What is it saying to me?

• Life of Christ. Is this choice consistent with what I know about the mind and heart of Christ and his loving, redemptive purposes in the world?

• Character growth and development. What is God doing in my character and spiritual growth, and will this choice continue to nurture this growth? How will this direction nurture the fruit of the Spirit in me—particularly the fruit of love, which is at the heart of our Christian calling and the litmus test for what it means to be truly Christian.

• Love. Given the primacy of love and unity in Christ's teachings, what does love call for in this situation?

• Clarify perspective. It's hard to see the whole field when we are mired in the details. Take a step back to look at the larger patterns of what God is doing in your life. Which choice fits the larger patterns that are already in motion? Take a step forward—to your deathbed. If I imagine myself on my deathbed, which choice would I wish I had made? Does this choice value what is eternal and permanent, what holds the deepest value, rather than what is transient and impermanent?

• Community. How does this choice fit with others' observations of who I am and what God is doing in my life? Am I willing to open up every facet of this decision to a trusted spiritual friend or director for their wisdom and insight? Is there anything in the overall tradition of the Christian faith that might inform my decision?

July24, 2012 at 8:38 AM

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