Handling the Gift of Discernment

My wife and I were having a conversation after one of the morning church services we attended. She asked, “I know you discern all these things, but can you be more positive about it?” The question made me think.

The gift of discernment can be a blessing and a curse. I can sense how a situation will be handled before it happens. Because of that, I don’t come across as Mr. Positivity. It is especially difficult when I sense that something will be handled negatively.

Does anyone else have this problem? If so, how do you handle it? Some gifts from God are simultaneously a blessing and burden. Those who do not possess the same gift do not understand. Please feel free to share your thoughts.

29 thoughts on “Handling the Gift of Discernment

  1. The on-again-off-again ex I’ve mentioned throughout my memoir used to annoy me by saying, “Is that negative or is that positive?” when I said something.
    “Neither. It’s realistic,” I said many times.
    Best example?
    My slumlord sold the apartment building I was living in at the time. I knew bad things were in my future.
    “Is that negative or is that positive?”
    “Who else would buy a building from a slumlord than another slumlord?” I asked.
    The guy evicted me, the woman across the hall who was undergoing chemo, and everyone else, one by one. Then he jacked up the rent by $400/month.
    Sometimes things are neither positive nor negative, they just ARE. If you live in this world, you shouldn’t really expect, much less demand, positivity. “In this world, you will have tribulation…”

  2. My husband is extremely discerning about people and motives… sometimes it leads to snap judgments in which I usually remark about how he needs to not be judgmental… it’s hard for him to go all-in with people who he knows aren’t genuine so he has the same negative reactions. It’s an interesting balance to strike, loving people but also having some boundaries when needed.

  3. I understand your dilemma. There are ways to steer someone in a better direction in a positive, affirming way. Assume the best of them. “I’m so glad you’re the kind of person who will [do the right and loving thing] and not [what you’re afraid they might do].” Of course, they may go ahead and do the wrong thing, but they’ll be blushing and avoiding eye contact with you as they do it …

  4. For me, the power of discernment is not whether what you discern is negative or positive, or even able to be known without absolute proof (the eventuality of the event), it is just your ability to weigh in on a situation with more than what is there. You see behind the veil of reality into the reasons why reality is the way it is. Your spirituality and connection to Him allows you insight and consideration into the reality He has created for you to bear witness to.

    Your witnessing (your discernment) brings to the light the ability for the occurrences of the event to better resolve the situation. You (the bringer of His light) bring His thoughts and considerations to the reality we all share. Your discernment is meant to shed light on His Words and Beliefs. But I feel strongly that there is not meant to be conviction for you to share with others because if others knew that your way was right and that all they must do is follow your words, where does their decision on what is right and wrong come into play?

    I believe God wishes us to influence and guide others to the right way but I do not believe it falls on us to tell them exactly what the right way will be. That choice they must make fully on their own for those are the choices and actions that God will hold up before each of them to be judged at the right time. We are just here to give them as much possible information as we can that can guide them to what they will decide for themselves is a better way to be. We are not leaders nor rule makers, we are guides and shepherds meant to gently lead the lost to the Kingdom of Being Found. But truly, they must find themselves without direction for the path is a solitary journey made with each decision that brings us closer to the Will of God and all that he wishes each of us to be. God wishes our love but He will not demand how that love manifests. It is for each of us to decide how our relationship to our Creator is handled. And how that relationship resolves itself at the end of life will be the judgement held up for consideration.

    When you feel your discernment upon you, try to consider what you are discerning. Try to see behind what you know and ask why you would be needing to know this information. Try not to just take what you know at face value but rather twist it into a different perspective from the ones also sharing the event that is being discerned. What energy are the others bringing into the situation? How does their energy influence your own perspective of God? How does the discernment make you feel about the situation? What more do you need to see to be clearer on what you are understanding?

    Discernment is an awesome gift to possess. The real fun of it comes when you learn to navigate the illusory nature that is hard to understand because you are seeing what was meant to remain unseen to the naked eye.

    It’s so exciting to know that there are real live True Prophets out there bringing to life the light of God and all the wonder and mystery He offers freely to those blessed to love Him. Thank you for loving God so boldly and willingly giving yourself to more than any of us could ever hope to understand.

  5. I understand completely, for I have the same gift. There are many times where the gift can be a burden, for discernment can be very tough, especially when it deals with negativity. I always try to say the discernment with as much grace as I can, but sometimes, it is quite difficult. Before addressing it, I always pray for the Lord to guide the conversation when explaining the discernment which normally helps. Although it can be a burden at times, it can be a wonderful blessing in other times; therefore, another helpful tip would to view it more as a blessing than as a burden, for though there may be those challenging moments, the joy of the gift will be more rewarding! God bless you! 🙂

  6. God has gifted me with discernment, also. While for the most part, I do find it very positive, I am able to read people well and predict which direction they may choose to go, it can be a curse. I can also tell when relationships will take a turn or not last. Depending on the person or situation, I may talk them through it with careful words that help them see where a struggle can be made easier. I am lad God gave me this gift to be able to communicate with people and season my words with salt differently for different people so they can understand. Unfortunately, it can be a curse, too. No matter how careful I am to keep in mind that God may have a plan for the person that I am not aware of, I have, on occasions, had friends refer to me as trying to control them. At those times, I have to reign it in and understood I am trying to do more than God asks me to, but I am a helper type of person so I have to leave the big things in God’s hands. It is also hard for me in my work with divorced parents, when they just don’t see the reality of how a system works, to see their disbelief at my teachings and watch them continue to go in a direction that is going to cost them time with their children. At those times, I can be very hated. People do not always want to hear truth, but those with the gift of discernment know what is true and what is not and are they not easily fooled. I would rather have this gift than not. I cannot imagine what it is like to not have this gift!

  7. The gift of discernment, a blessing and a curse. My words exactly, and my gift is very strong. I imagine in ancient times, strong discerners were considered prophets or seers, either honored for their foresight and invited to court or burned at the stake. The other side of the curse is for one not to be believed—like Cassandra. How many people reject what they don’t want to hear then blame the teller for making it happen? I worked 42 years as an intelligence analyst at CIA. Matthew, you would have the rare insight to understand what that would be like.

    No one not possessing the gift can understand the clarity it delivers or its two-sided nature. In a world of gratuitous well-wishing, my positive visions become lost in the happy chorus—my negative ones stand out starkly, hence the view of negativity, I believe. So I am careful with those who do not know me well. I rarely tell such people what is coming, but suggest how they might prepare for the unforeseen.

    In my professional life, I always did what I was directed to do and prepared myself and my team to respond to what I saw was coming. You are not alone, and it is good to know I am not.

    My wife subscribes and passes me your articles. I can be reached at kennyke@mac.com

  8. To me, with my own experience with discernment, I can tell you that discernment enables you to see things beyond the surface of what appears to be but isn’t. It’s like a level of spiritual 20/20 vision but in my own journey with the Lord, I have found that it is simply not enough to see things clearly without asking the Lord to help you handle that which you do see.

    It’s like looking down and seeing that a cliff is right before you. Some people we look at the same things and react to it differently. Some maybe be thrilled to see a cliff while others are completely terrified. So it’s not enough to simply sharpen your discernment if you can’t handle what it is that you do see.

    Discernment should go hand in hand with asking God to give you the wisdom to handle what it is that you do see.

    Discernment without wisdom is a handicap so as Christians we need to understand that with discernment, we need to ask God to help us to also handle what it is that we do see in order to respond appropriately and wisely in any given situation. I hope what I said makes sense. God Bless! – Sherline

  9. As others have said, it is both a blessing and curse. Some think you psychic when it plays out as you call it, while others scoff, ridicule and condemn it say it is judgmental towards what someone will do. It is not just a spiritual gift though, there are certain personality types that are extremely “intuitive” by reading the people circumstances. I hate knowing something that will be or how something will turn out at times and only be able to say, “I just know”. In many cases, it would be far easier not to carry that burden.

  10. I have the same gift but also I am prophetic so sometimes I know exactly whats going to happen before it even does. It’s not always easy when you have gifts that are like that. I have tried to not to discern. I have tried to be nice about it but sometimes I’m not. And if I fall into a judgmental attitude I repent. Give your self grace brother we are seasoned with time. And we are also human 🙂

  11. Discernment as I see it is a window into being able to extract realistic possibilities, even probabilities. But as soon as you pesimisticize it, you can be a co-creator of a negative outcome and that is dangerous. There is always hope from Jesus or room for Him to step in, you do not ever know more than He does. Saying it will end negatively squished hope and impales faith. Discern the realistic and pray with faith for potential negative to be undermined by Jesus’ generous grace and hope and even intervention. You would be surprised how often He can turn things around.😄❤

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