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Sorting, Sifting, Seeing

Today’s Reflection

IN THE FULL VISION of the scriptures, discernment requires not just that we distinguish between good and evil, but even between one good and another. Faithful discernment thrusts upon us that piercing question, What is the higher good?

“Do not be conformed to this world,” writes the apostle Paul to the Christians at Rome, “but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2). Discernment is about more than taking this or that course of action in life, more than deciding whether to give time to this cause or that project. Discernment is ultimately about doing the will of the living God. Paul enjoins his listeners to follow a way of sorting, sifting, seeing clearly the desires of God. In a similar vein, the author of the First Letter of John writes, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (1 John 4:1).

—Marjorie J. Thompson and Stephen V. Doughty
The Way of Discernment Participant’s Book
Companions in Christ Series

From page 18 of The Way of Discernment Participant’s Book, Companions in Christ Series by Marjorie J. Thompson and Stephen V. Doughty. Copyright © 2008 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Have you ever had someone else mislead you to choose the wrong path? How did you ultimately realize others misled you?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
—1 John 4:1 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Creator God, Show me the way that is good and acceptable and perfect. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Something More

Join the staff of The Upper Room in praying for the victims and their families of the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.  Pray with us.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

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{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Jill August 8, 2019, 6:13 am

    Nothing specific comes to mind, as far as someone leading me down the wrong path. I think when I become too comfortable – I am more susceptible to losing my focus and just existing on auto-pilot. Even though the Holy Spirit is in me, auto-pilot means living out my fleshly heart…which means the bottom line is selfishness. I must be vigilant and intentional, and desire to do so, as far as keeping my eyes focused on Christ and loving others in a way which would honor Him.
    I am grateful for those in my small circle who model Christ’s love towards others and me. I am encouraged to do likewise.

  • Julie August 8, 2019, 8:23 am

    Yes, this has occurred to me. I have made decisions that were not in my best interest due to pressures from others. Whether one choice was good or bad from a Biblical standpoint is less clearcut.
    Prayers for Jill and her tight group of Christian mentors.
    Prayers for healing for Andrea, Lowell, Connie, Erich and Marcy.
    Prayers for new opportunities in new circumstances for Betsy, Erich and Robert, Lou and her daughter.
    Prayes for great joy for connie and Mary.
    Today is national celebrate cat day. Yeah for all kitties and extra love for all. Cats are special and I cherish them as one of God’s many creatures.
    Prayers, blessings, warm hugs and thank you all UR readers and posters

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling August 8, 2019, 8:59 am

      Thanks Julie!

      May God help us all to make wise choices that bring joy to Him!

      Blessings!

  • robert moeller August 9, 2019, 2:10 am

    Sadly I think I have been mislead at times. It took me longer than it should have to recognize, but in the end discernment won the day and I changed course.

    Am not happy about all the emails I have to scythe my way through to find the ones that are meaningful. Replying to yesterday’s reflection a day late doesn’t sit well with me.

    Thankful always for Julie’s dedication to prayers for me, Erich, and the UR family. You are very much in my prayers as are all of the UR family. Prayers for your hands and foot, safety, future, and overall wellbeing.

    No word on Doris after her lung cancer surgery, Anneliese has to wait to have another pain management treatment, Meesook’s doctors are at a loss as what to do to help her pain. Lord, hear our prayers.

    Yesterday was a busy day taking care of transportation paperwork: registration, title, and license. Have inspection and insurance left.
    Thank You, Lord.

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