Wednesday, August 06, 2008

    Decisions and Discernment

    Our youth make decisions everyday. Some decisions are easy: what to do, where to go, what to eat. But at other times, youth (or all of us for that matter) are faced with difficult choices: Where is God in my life? What is my relationship with this individual supposed to be? How do I know I am doing what’s right?

    Instead of using the word “decision,” what if we spent more time focusing on discernment, particularly Christian discernment. Christian discernment is the notion that we reflect on the guiding touch of the spirit as we make our choices in life. When we plan our messages, activities, and events we try to be open to God’s will. Why should this be any different in our everyday lives?

    This fall, I hope to share with my youth some different ways to practice discernment. Here are some of the methods: prayer, community, scripture, nature, solitude, silence, and openness. I also plan to encourage my youth to listen to the gentle guidance or nudging from the Spirit. I am convinced that some events may only be seen as a “God Thing.”

    How about you? How can we encourage our youth, and ourselves, to root our choices in spiritual discernment?



    aherring said...

    Jacob - I see that this is an older post, but I am curious to hear how you "fleshed out" your ideas on teaching youth discernment. I noticed several connections with spiritual disciplines as well.