how to make great decisions
"After much discussion, Peter took the floor." —Acts 15:7
In an extremely divisive and volatile situation, the leaders of the early Church rightly discerned the will of the Holy Spirit (see Acts 15:28). They were able to do this because they:
- were submissive to the authority of the leaders of the Church (see Acts 15:2),
- listened even to those who disagreed with them (see Acts 15:12),
- based their discernment on the Bible (Acts 15:15ff), and
- were living in Christian community (Acts 2:42).
Today we see many people who lack discernment, are very confused, and make terrible decisions regarding marriage, parenting, work, finances, and lifestyle. Those in our culture of death usually are independent. Some of them consider submission to authority to be a vice. We have the tendency to be contentious and to misunderstand the views of those who disagree with us. In general, we are Biblically illiterate. Moreover, community life has broken down into widespread isolation. We are programmed for failure in discernment and decision-making. To avoid being confused, abused, and deceived, we must repent and devote ourselves "to the apostles' instruction and the communal life, to the breaking of bread and the prayers" (Acts 2:42).
Prayer: Father, make my life a good context for hearing You.
Promise: "All this I tell you that My joy may be yours and your joy may be complete." —Jn 15:11
Praise: Juan prayed and listened for several years before and during his preparations for priesthood.
Reference: (For a related teaching from our prior year Bible Institutes, order Fr. Lauer's tape on Discernment in a Culture of Death on audio BI2000-067.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, December 9, 2000
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 12, 2000