Discerning God’s will

Discerning God’s will

In today’s CFC prayer assembly, our topic is about trying to know God’s will for us. This is always relevant yet always difficult to understand.

As someone in the field of management and organization trying to reconcile spirituality wity my profession, it is necessary for me to concretize what it practically means to understand God’s will and coach my students to apply this in our lives and as a guide to internalizing the vocation of a business leader.

My favorite framework for this is what we directly use in our action research methodology as advocated by Fr. David Coghlan and inspired by Fr. Bernard Lonergan – authenticity and the general empirical method. Simply put, it is a cycle of being attentive to experiencing, intelligent in understanding, reasonable in judging, and responsible in deciding and acting.

This is not necessarily a pleasing journey. There is much mental and emotional labor in trying to understand the will of the One greater than us. Yet I also find that merely surrendering to the will of God is incomplete without putting in the work; otherwise, why did God go through the trouble of gifting us wisdom and insight?

This is also not meant to culminate into God granting us our wishes and the outcomes we desire. Otherwise, would discerning God’s will be just a mental gymnastics of convincing ourselves that what we want is what God also wants?

Thus, my own journey leads me to two simple yet profound indicators to know if we have approximated God’s will (although oftentimes this is after the fact) – have we decided and acted on something that brings about opportunities for (1) greater love and (2) greater peace?

The challenge is we can only know for ourselves that love and peace means if we have put ourselves continuously in spaces of vulnerability – of both mental and emotional labor – and decided to choose something that is inconvenient or against our initial desires to bring about a greater kind of love.

Matthew 22:34-40. And one of them, a scholar of the law, tested him by asking, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”


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