Dispute Resolution Discernment
Discernment of God’s Will in dispute resolution parallels discernment of vocations. Both applications of the discernment process focus on important decisions that will determine an individual’s path in life.
A passage from an article by S.E. Greydanus in Homiletic & Pastoral Review1 addresses the topic of vocations and provides keen insight into the valuable role that discernment of God’s Will plays in the collaborative process:
“… conforming to God’s will is not like conforming to the wishes of another human being, whose whims might have nothing to do with our good. God’s will for us is identical with our own fulfillment and happiness — the kind of long-term fulfillment and happiness that is reached by a difficult path, but ultimately brings deeper satisfaction than short-term rewards.”2
Greydanus advocates discernment as a viable and accessible process:
“The Lord who made peace His bequest to us (John 12:27) and bids us through St. Paul, ‘Have no anxiety about anything’ (Philippians 4:6) assuredly does not wish that seeking to follow His plan should be a cause of so much inner disturbance.”3
Vocation of Love
The article includes an enlightening anecdote:
“St. Therese of Lisieux, after wrestling with all the seemingly impossible desires that divine love inspired in her, cried out, ‘My vocation, at last I have found it … MY VOCATION IS LOVE!’”4
My observations during many mediations confirm that a parallel epiphany takes place among those who seek to grasp the role of the Holy Spirit in dispute resolution.
When disputants reflect on the Will of God they become infused, to some degree, with divine love, which colors their views toward the opposing party. They begin to see the divine in the other and begin to understand the challenges the other person faces.
When their view of the other person takes on an aspect of love, new insights emerge that promote solutions, eventually leading to a settlement that details a better future.
Greydanus, writing in the context of vocations but also with relevance to Divine Collaboration, concludes that:
“In the end, all discernment comes to the question, ‘Lord, what would you have me do?’ The answer may be surprising, but an answer will always be provided, and it will always be an answer of the deepest, most personal love.”5
- Homiletic & Pastoral Review, https://www.hprweb.com/
- Greydanus, S. E. “Rethinking Vocational Discernment,” Homiletic & Pastoral Review, https://www.hprweb.com/2023/06/rethinking-vocational-discernment/ p1 of 6
- Ibid. p 3 of 6. Quoting… St. Therese of Lisieux, Story of a Soul, third edition, ed. John Clarke. O.C.D. (Washington, D.C. : ICS Publications, 1996), 194.
- Ibid. p 5 of 6