My husband was out of town recently when a box was delivered to my doorstep. It was rather large. Not the size of a dresser but definitely larger than the typical package. And it was heavy – too heavy for me to manage alone.
The UPS man graciously brought it inside since it looked like it might rain that afternoon. But I figured it might be a bit much for me to ask him to take it past the foyer, up the stairs, down the hall, and into the room my husband calls his man cave, which is where I like to put things I don’t know what else to do with. That would be a long haul, and I could sense this deliveryman’s graciousness ended at the foyer.
So there it sat, this mysterious, heavy box.
Deep inside, I knew this was nothing but some product one of my people had ordered. And I knew what to do with it. Open it. Identify the owner. Tell said owner to figure out a way to get it out of the foyer and into his or her room.
But I didn’t listen to that awareness deep inside. I ignored it and listened to my fears instead. You know you’ve watched one too many mystery TV shows when your first thought about a mysterious box sitting in your foyer is that a person with scary intentions could fit inside. Yes, a crazy person with weapons could mail himself right into your foyer and sit there all day, quietly waiting until you went to bed. And you can hear everyone later watching a reenactment of the unfolding tragedy screaming at you, “Don’t leave the box in your foyer! Get it out of the house!”
Ahem. I’m a completely rational person. Except when I’m the opposite of that sometimes.
So I kicked the side of the box to see if there was any kind of reflex action that might happen if there was a living thing inside of it. There wasn’t, of course. But then I decided just to be really sure, I would stand around the corner from the box to see if I could step out of its line of sight and possibly hear something: a cough, a slight sneeze, anything.
I was just being sure. Absolutely certain. I could leave no room for doubts, no room at all for any possible bad outcome from this box – a box that I eventually opened with a knife. Just in case. Only to discover a dorm-room refrigerator that one of my people had ordered. Oh, for the complicated love of Pete. I just wasted half my day worrying about a box that contained a dorm fridge.
But we do this sometimes. We do. We have a decision to make and we have that deep-down knowing. We know what to do. We know what the answer is. We do. But we don’t go with that knowing. We over-process the what-ifs and the but-thens and the maybes until we find ourselves standing around a corner listening to see if a cardboard box containing a refrigerator might sneeze.
Now, it goes without saying, there are certainly some decisions that need to be processed. We will spend plenty of time in future chapters discussing how to process decisions that need to be made. But then there are other decisions we just simply need to say yes or no to and move on.
Find that courageous yes. Fight for that confident no. Know it. State it. Own it. And move on without all the complication.
Do you know what I mean? Sometimes it just comes down to that deep whisper within that says, “Uh-huh, yes.” Or a simple, “No, not that.”
God has woven into us the ability to discern what is best.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ. – Philippians 1:9-10, emphasis added
Discerning what is best is something we’re capable of doing as we layer knowledge and depth of insight into our lives. Read those verses again and see that gaining knowledge and depth of insight will allow us to develop a trustworthy discernment.
Knowledge is wisdom that comes from acquiring truth.
Insight is wisdom that comes from living out the truth we acquire.
Discernment is wisdom that comes from the Holy Spirit’s reminders of that knowledge and insight.
The Holy Spirit helps us remember that knowledge and insight so we can display it through good judgment in our everyday-life decisions. That’s the deep knowing I’m talking about.
Excerpted with permission from The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst, copyright Thomas Nelson, 2014.
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Do you relate with being that *ahem* occasionally completely irrational person? Do you ever find yourself frozen in indecision even though you already know what you need to do? I may be a tiny bit familiar with that territory, so you’re not alone! What do you need to courageously start doing? What do you need to boldly say no to? Let’s start today! What Join the conversation on our blog! We’d love to hear from you about depending upon the Holy Spirit for discernment about what is best! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full