“The goal of discernment is not to simply avoid the evil in this life; it is to learn what is good so that we might embrace and enjoy it (pg 30).” Structured around Phil. 4:8-9, Hannah Anderson leads in learning how to discern what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely and commendable, comparing everything we take into our lives to God’s standard of goodness (58).
I understand the concept of discernment being the practiced skill of applying wisdom in knowing good from evil, or good from better (167), and through that, learning to navigate a broken world with confidence and hope (back cover). I’m not so sure about God’s plan to restore the goodness of the world, and our being part of that redemption through using discernment (back cover). I spent most of the book trying to figure out what those statements mean and what that looks like, and I still don’t know.
As in her other books, Anderson uses homey, everyday illustrations–family vacation, church potlucks, a cup of coffee, mystery novels, and so on–interwoven into the Scriptural teaching. I like Hannah’s writing style and connected deeply with Humble Roots, but this book was harder for me to get into and to understand exactly what she was trying to say. I did find the “Benediction” section at the end very helpful, where she summarizes each chapter in three statements. That helped bring clarity. Included there are questions for reflection, a Scripture passage to read, and a memory verse, in order to, as Anderson says, “move these things from your head through your heart to your hands (188). I definitely recommend reading this section along with each chapter.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher (Moody) in exchange for my review.