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How do I grow in discerning and distinguishing the will and voice of God from others?
In Spiritual Life
Jul 21, 2021
I do think what @Garrett Linney says is true, that God speaks in what He has already spoken. Sometimes it's really hard to figure out what that is though, or how it translates into our lives. My experience growing up was that these verses were invoked all the time, but nobody would translate that into "ok so here's how we can use Scripture to discern righteous actions that align us with God's thinking and desires for us." So even though I think 2 Timothy and Hebrews are good guides, we still have the problem of trying to discern how to see Scripture as "profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for righteous training..." Knowing that Scripture is a guide is much different than knowing how to use Scripture as a guide. I do think there are plenty of tools to help discern how to use Scripture as a guide. The one that has been the most freeing and directing for me though has been measuring my own ways/actions/thoughts by how God characterizes and names Himself. We are all image bearers of God, so righteous action will reflect God's character. When I'm trying to discern speech, actions, or even beliefs, I can ask myself a few questions to see 1) if I'm in line with God's character and 2) if I'm bearing His image well. Questions like: Does this speech/action affirm God's Names and character, for myself and/or others? (for discerning speech/actions) Do my speech/actions draw people closer to experiencing/seeing/hearing God's Names or character? (for speech/actions) How can I better realize God's character in my own life and reflect it better to others? (for speech/actions) Have I believed anything that's counter to the Names or character of God? (for discerning beliefs) Have I ever ascribed something to God that is contrary to His Names or character? (for beliefs) When I'm experiencing situations that are contrary to God's Names or character, do I recall and call upon the Names of God? (for actions? Or prayer maybe?) I'd love to hear others' thoughts and reactions to this as well :)
What is the best way to find and connect with other Christians at work?
In Christianity and the Workplace
Jul 20, 2021
Nowhere near a complete answer, but I was talking to a friend recently about how we can talk about Christianity in a genuine way with our friends without sounding self-righteous or judgmental. Oftentimes it can feel inauthentic to bring up God when we're around groups of people who either are not Christians or for whom we just aren't sure of their beliefs. My friend was saying though that if God really is part of our lives, it's ok to share that with people around us and just be transparent about ourselves. If going to church is a big deal to me and it relates to a conversation I'm having at work or around a group of people, it's ok to bring it up! Not that we have to make a big deal about it, but we can be a little bit more open about our lives and let people see us for who we really are. Making our lives more transparent also doesn't have to be goal-oriented necessarily, but it can just be for the sake of making stronger connections with other people! (Like if I had a friend who went to Temple and that was a big part of their life, I would love for them to share that with me! People don't mind when we open up a little bit more and show them some of what we care about!) As relates to the workplace specifically and connecting with other Christians, I think my friend's advice really works well here. First I think because being more transparent just has so much potential to build stronger connections with other people, anyone. But then also if you can share about your own life more, other Christians will see that, and the connection with them becomes easier to make.
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