Discerning All of Your Decisions

{Personally and for Servant-Leadership in CWOC and MCCW}

Who has not struggled with making a decision?  Christians are blessed to have at their disposal a way to gain heavenly assistance in decision making.  Using discernment is a way to be fully informed of the relevant issues by keeping you focused and asking the Holy Spirit to guide you in making your decision.  If we pray with confidence in asking the Holy Spirit to guide our decision making, then as believers the burden of making the decision is lifted.  We are set free in the love and holy plan that God has in store for us.  God does allow us to make mistakes.  But in experiencing a stumble, He lovingly picks us up and guides us toward what is good and in our best interest on our journey toward our eternal salvation.

Begin your discernment with a prayer such as the following based on Jeremiah 29:11-13.

God our Father,

You have a plan for each one of us.

You hold out to us the future full of hope.

Give us wisdom of your Spirit,

So that we can see the shape of your plan

In the gifts you have given us,

And in the circumstances of our daily lives.

Give us freedom in your Spirit

To seek you with all our hearts, and all our minds,

And to choose your will above all else.

We make this prayer through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Discernment is an honest review of all aspects of a decision to be made and then with prayer, meditation, and input, we arrive at the best possible decision.  Saint Ignatius recommends the following 10 guiding principles of discernment in decision making.  This meditation is applicable to personal decision making, as well as for discerning servant-leadership in any organization.

Answer each question honestly after meditating on it with the prayer:   “Holy Spirit, please bring me clarity and truth.”

  1. As I stay in touch with reality, what pre-existing conditions exist in my life that I cannot change that may interfere with this decision i.e. serving on the CWOC/MCCW Board?
  1. Be honest and realistic about your timetable. Don’t be hasty about making this decision but don’t procrastinate either.  Have I prayed about serving and sufficiently thought out the sacrifices that may be needed?
  1. Bounce your thoughts and plans off of those you trust. Your friends and confidants are more objective.  Have I confided in those who truly know me well, those who can recognize my strengths and weaknesses without being subject to my personal issues?
  1. Listen to your heart, mind, and intuitions. Make sure they are all rising from your soul.  Consider practicality, functionality and rationality as well as emotions.  Am I coming from a place of common sense along with the emotional side of this decision?
  1. The “Evil Spirit” often tends to complicate decision making with confusion and fear. Have I kept to the core of the matter and replaced confusion and fear with acts of trust and courage?
  1. Avoid decision-making during a crisis. A level head and internal peace will allow you to judge freely and honestly.  Which choice yields the most peace, justice, faith and love as well as will bear the most fruit?  Have I cleansed myself of selfish tendencies?
  1. Know your limits! To honestly know ourselves requires humility, common sense and love.  I do not seek the cross, but am I prepared to accept it?
  1. Mourn the possibilities not chosen and the opportunities missed. Life is a path of letting go and dying.  “Every time we let go of something we die a little.”  Eventually we will be asked to let go of everything (when we die) and will gain our salvation.  Have I let go of that which was not meant to be in my life?
  1. Jesus is key. God gave us Jesus to show what it truly means to be a human      being.  If we follow Jesus’ teachings and imitate how he treated people with mercy, truth, faith, fairness, justice and love we will be inspired in every decision we make and we will grow to know, love and serve him more profoundly.  Do I try to live the message of Jesus to all the people I encounter in my daily life?
  1. Holy Spirit, please inspire me to make this decision.

Discernment for leadership should include meditation on Mark 10:42-45 where Jesus defines for us the servant-leader concept:   Jesus summoned them and said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt.  But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.  For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

I pray for your discernment process as you make decisions for yourself, your family and all those with whom you serve.  More discernment information regarding CWOC and MCCW can be found by clicking HERE.

“Discerning All of Your Decisions” contributed by Michelle Hokenson.


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One Response to Discerning All of Your Decisions

  1. Lisa Miklos says:

    Beautifully and thoughtfully written. Thank You, Michelle.

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