Friday, December 21, 2012

The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment- Review

(A few friends and I are reading this book together. Each week we are reading one chapter. On Fridays, I am posting my comments, then giving them the opportunity to add their thoughts as well. If you would like to join us or simply find out more about the book, you can read about it here.)

After finishing the book last week, I decided that this week I would review my posts and pick out five things about which this book has challenged me.  I hope you guys will share your thoughts as well.  In no particular order:

1. The nature of discernment: it can be developed
- I used to see discernment as a prepackaged gift that a person either had or didn't have.  I realize now it is something that can be cultivated and developed.  It is more like a set of Legos than a Matchbox car.

2. The results of discernment: actions
- True discernment is not simply coming to the correct thinking- it is following that thinking with actions.  We need discernment to think/do right ourselves, to stand up for truth, and to serve others by sharing truth with them.

3. The basis of discernment: God's Word
- Discernment is a possibility because absolute truth is a fact.  Absolute truth is found in the Bible, making God's Word indispensable in our pursuit of discernment.  The more we know of God's Word, the easier and more quickly we will see error.  Though we want discernment, our focus should not be on that end, but on God and His Word.

4. The responsibility of discernment: personal
- Truth is constant, error is constantly changing.  Satan, a deceiver, uses error as possibly his greatest tool.  While error may be subtle, it is always deadly.  We are personally responsible for what we believe.  Because of that, I must take ownership of what I believe and make sure it follows Scripture.

5. The practice of discernment: outlined
- His outline for discernment in the last chapter was a good step by step way to examine things.  I still have some questions about how we can "test" certain things without "trying" them.  I will want to think about that question some more and come to a conclusion.

I have been helped by this book, and I have been encouraged by your participation and comments.  I am taking a break over the holidays, but plan to propose another reading project after the first of the year.  I'll email you with details.

I've had my say, what say you?

Discussion on Chapter 10

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