STONE FOUR CONTINUED
Discern: It is my responsibility to discern what works for me and what does not, always remembering that what may not resonate with me today may resonate at another time.
Instruction: Weigh the evidence.
Many times, we make decisions based on trial and error, and that is a perfectly acceptable way to do things. Perhaps every decision comes down to a form of trial and error, but often the trial is based on minimal examination and sometimes it’s based on an extensive evaluation of the possible outcomes. What if our decision making was more in line with trial and success instead of trial and error? Wouldn’t life be easier? No one has a surefire way to make successful decisions one hundred percent of the time, but with discernment, we can improve our odds of success and avoid many errors. Discernment is the ability to decide what is good for us and what is not and what will further our spiritual path and what will hinder it. When we give our spiritual power to a religious/spiritual leader, we risk losing, or at least reducing, our ability to make wise choices. The opposite is also true. The more we retain our power to plot our spiritual course, the more we will develop the practice of discernment and make wise spiritual and religious decisions.
Knowing what religious organization we want to become involved with is an issue for many people. After a couple marries and has children, the decision of where to train them in religious teaching can become a point of contention, especially if their parents come from different religious backgrounds. This can be amplified when those two religious affiliations are diametrically opposed to one another. Some might judge and say they should never have married in the first place, but that says to me their religious beliefs are more important than love. I have a problem with anything manmade being more important than something I believe to be of the highest importance. In fact, one of the most important questions to consider when discerning what course of action we should take is which decision will make us more loving individuals and which one will have the opposite effect. We should always follow the path that leads to the most love, peace, and happiness.
Today’s Assignment is to consider the idea that some religions suggest their members should not marry outside their faith. If they are Catholic, they should marry a Catholic. A Baptist, a Baptist, a Jew, a Jew. A Buddhist, a Buddhist. In many families this is a serious issue, and to defy the teachings of their religious organization can have serious consequences. Many have broken the racial barrier that would tell us a white man should not marry a black woman, or a white woman should not marry a black man, and yet they might still hold to the belief we should not marry “outside of the church.” Take a moment to discern what is more important — the teachings of a religious organization or love.
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Our purpose is to help individuals to heal who have been injured by religion or the religious. We welcome your comments and questions.