December 15, 2019, 1 Chronicles 17 – Post 2 – ISSL Reflection


How many times in the last week have you used the word “discernment”?

1 ? 5 ? 10? Or None?

Well, I don’t use the word much in day to day conversation, but it seems in the last few years it has become a topic I hear more and more about in church, ministry, personal and even “business” settings.

If we had the chance, we might ask David if he had spend time “discerning” what his role in building God’s house was to be.  And if he asked, “Yes!”’ we might follow up asking his “steps” in the discerning process.  

We have an advantage over David – go with me for a minute here, I know Nathan is not whispering our ear (at least I assume not), but give me a minute – there is a lot of literature available to us about discernment.

I did a quick search and look at Amazon on the word “discernment.” and came up with a lot of results.  So we might just need to pick the right book or guide. Maybe?


One of the books I saw was titled, “Pray, Decide, and Don’t Worry: Five Steps to Discerning God’s Will.”  Part of the ad for the book counseled, “After following this 5-step discernment process … come to a decision and be at peace knowing they’ve truly discerned God’s will.”  

WOW !  That’s confidence!  And no, I am not recommending the book.  I haven’t read the book and could not recommend it or not.  But I fear there are others, probably many, selling a process for discernment.  But is it going to be a process that is for you and me?


Another book I saw was by Luke Timothy Johnson, the New Testament scholar.  It was titled, “Scripture & Discernment: Decision Making in the Church” It didn’t make it to page 1 of the Amazon search.  And again, no, I am not recommending either. I have not read it.

But I did read something interesting to me in the ad for the book.

“Because the church claims to be a community of faith, it does not reach decisions simply on the basis of good management policy, or the analysis of market trends, or efficiency, or even ideological consistency, but in response to God’s activity in the world that presses upon us and urges us to decision.”

What do you think about that? “… presses upon us and urges us …”

No 5 or 3 or 7 steps.  No guarantee. It seems more personal and even subjective.


Back to David and Nathan.

What was it “pressing” on them and “urging” them?

And for that matter what “presses” on us and “urges” us?  Scripture? Prayer? Others of a mature spirit (friends, mentors,

Take some time and examine how you come to decision/discernment?  How you “came” to decision in the past. Did you get it “right” or “wrong”?  And what might you have learned from both ways?

Take some time with this and we’ll get back together later.


{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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