Faith-Informed Discernment: How Faith Informs my Decisions?

God is not intimidated by our questions. In fact, He welcomes them. Therefore, the church should be confident and willing to inquire about complex issues. However, as we ask questions, it is critical these questions derive from a stable foundation. It becomes pointless to ask deep questions if a learner is not capable of constructing ideas into actions. A person’s actions reflect thinking, and thinking reflects what we believe to be true. Most of us would prefer simple right or wrong answers. We are taught all problems are solvable – there is an answer. Right or wrong. Simple to determine. This may be good if you’re solving a simple math equation or driving to Austin, but what if you are dealing with a complex issue like same-sex marriage or church governance or alcohol or any other hot topic.

What do you do if there are conflicting answers?

There are 2 kinds of problems:

  1. Those whose solutions we know.
  2. Those whose solutions we don’t yet know.

The older I get, it seems most problems fall into the “we don’t know yet” category. When this happens, often one of two things happens:

We “don’t yet know” thus we retreat to a safe and simple position. Often becoming opinionated.
Or we escape to the spineless “we are all entitled to our own opinion” relative truth stance.

The Challenge

Our challenge is to pursue how to find the truth or the best solution for humanity. This is why critical reasoning, moral evaluation, and faith-informed discernment guide us in our pursuit of wisdom.

The ultimate task is to learn to evaluate solutions based on truth. Christianity is built on the assumption that that all truth is God’s truth. John 14:6 helps us understand that truth is found in the person of Jesus, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Lawerence Kohberg spent his life researching how humans morally develop. He simplistically observed that we move from what is best for me? To what is best for my group? To what is best for all humanity?

The Bible urges us “to consider others as more important than self” (Philippians 2:3). The Christ life suggests “greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). In fact, Jesus Christ went a step beyond and laid down his life for all of humanity. That is a moral compass worth following.

Complex Issues Bring Maturity

As we face complex issues, morally we should mature beyond ourselves to consider best practices for the generation yet to be born. Remember, God is not intimidated by the questions. Through faith we follow Christ’s model. Therefore, we have a responsibility to think, decide, act, and live in a way that gives a correct opinion of our God. It is during our pursuit of truth that the Truth sets us FREE!

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor prepares students for leadership, service, and faith-informed discernment in a global society. Academic excellence, personal attention, broad-based scholarship and a commitment to a Baptist vision for education distinguish our Christ-centered learning community.
Dr. Byron Weathersbee

Dr. Byron Weathersbee

Dr. B serves as the Vice President for Student Life at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. He and his wife have written a book, Before Forever, to help individuals work through the “How do you know that you know?” marital questions.
Dr. Byron Weathersbee

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Dr. Byron Weathersbee

About Dr. Byron Weathersbee

Dr. B serves as the Vice President for Student Life at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. He and his wife have written a book, Before Forever, to help individuals work through the “How do you know that you know?” marital questions.