Word of the Day: Discernment (to discern)

Still Learning to Discern…

English: Skyscape, Sound of Sleat. Skye is onl...

English: Skyscape (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, it’s 5:45 PM, with a 7:01 PM posting deadline.  As I struggled through this most disconcerting day, I spent some time sorting through my articles in order to organize them in a way that would make them easier to find.  (Someone has told me it’s tough to locate specific posts, so I am working on a solution to that problem.)

Imagine my surprise to realize that I have not yet written about something that I believe to be the fundamental skill one needs to master before all others:  discernment.  That is where we are going to go today.

The best place to start is with the dictionary:

Webster’s defines the word ‘discern‘ as follows:  to perceive the distinctions of; discriminate, and ‘discerning‘ as:  insightful or perceptive.

Early on in my spiritual training, my unseen Teachers told me the two most important teaching tools would be The Bible and the dictionary.

A bible from 1859.

A bible from 1859. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1 Corinthians 11, the Bible lists discernment as one of the gifts of Spirit. Discernment is the ability to perceive whether such things as people, events, or beliefs are pleasing to God. Lori Frank recently wrote about discernment as well, and her words resonated so much with me, I am quoting her directly: “The Spirit has given these people an internal warning system that sets off a painful alarm in their hearts when truth is compromised,…and wrong motives are under the surface.”

Lori goes on to share her insight that this gift can be learned, or strengthened within each us, and that has been my message to those I teach for a long time. I know from personal experience that my ability to discern is something Spirit would have me continue to exercise.

I have had some difficult and painful lessons around discernment in years past, and I am certain the events of the past week or so are simply the next step in my training.  I may, or may not (I will practice discernment first this time) share the precise lessons I have had around exercising discernment.

This round has taught me that I need to pay attention to the potential physical world ramifications of my actions, my words, in addition to the spiritual world consequences as well.  And this is where it can get tricky.

I am still trying to figure this one out for myself, and would be open to input that would be helpful to my understanding on how, exactly to do this dance with integrity.

I have become very conscious of the fact that, despite my best efforts, I still have blind spots in my awareness, places that my discernment is weaker than normal for me.  I am grateful that I have loving and caring friends that will point that out to me, so I can strengthen my practice of being discerning in all things.

For now, I acknowledge those of you out there who do use your discernment, whether you recognize it as such or not.  Always follow your IGS (Internal Guidance System). I promise it will not lead you astray.

I will continue to work on fine-tuning my discernment in the hopes that the next round of lessons goes a little more smoothly.  For that is one thing of which I am certain:  there will be more lessons!

Insist on yourself. Never imitate. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

All original material posted to this site (c) 2012, Julie Marie. All rights reserved.