Although discernment is a delicate art that takes time, patience, and experience. To help you in your quest to enter into the spiritual flow and live a life in communion with the Holy Spirit, I am going to comment on 3 Guidelines which can help you to make better decisions

1) When You Do Not Have a Decision to Make

In learning to optimize the amount of time you dedicate to reflecting upon and praying about a given situation, the first question you should seek to answer is if you have a decision to make. If you do not have a decision to make, really your quest for inner stillness should involve you trying to use the different strategies to help you let go of your disordered thinking, feeling, and desiring.

2) When You Have a Decision to Make

At this point, it is important to get rid of all the attachments, baggage, and other disorders of the heart which prevent you from discovering God’s will and making good decisions. Examples of patterns of disordered thinking, feeling, and desiring are any extremes in our interior life which cloud or disrupt our interior stillness such as excessive anger.

The phrase interior stillness is taken from the Eastern Orthodox, and it is meant to highlight that when our interior life is out of balance, it makes it difficult to hear the still, calm voice of God. By using the strategies of cultivating interior stillness, we learn to observe, process, and let go of the interior chaos so that we can come to a place of Spiritual Freedom.

3) Spiritual Freedom

This indicates a heart that is not ruled by the clouds of sin, but has learned to rest in the Lord. When we are experiencing spiritual freedom, this is the time that we should engage different strategies to make a decision or to simply move on. The Army’s manuals for leadership talk about two ways of making a decision, intuitive and analytical. While the Christian tradition does not have quite this level of clarity, there is a harmony between the two.

At this point, we should choose between three options. Engage in analytical thinking in order to carefully weigh the decision, open our intuitive thinking and go with our gut, or simply let go (in those cases where a decision should be deferred or does not need to be made).