We’ve all experienced that moment in time when we were certain of something that we could not logically be sure of. We just “had a feeling” that something was not right or that something was going to happen. That’s intuition—a gut feeling when “something” inside puts you on alert.
Intuition is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as the power or faculty of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference. Words used in place of intuition include hunch, clairvoyance, gut reaction, discernment and insight. If you are in the medical profession, I am sure you are used to the term “insight”
Intuition and discernment often work hand in hand, but they are not the same. While intuition refers to a gut feeling or a hunch, discernment helps you wisely recognize and use your intuition when you need it. When looked at this way, we see that intuition isn’t just a reliance on flighty emotions but is grounded in intelligence. Intuition can cause unnecessary fear or worry, and discernment can help you reel in those emotions and not let them incapacitate you.
Discernment is defined as the acuteness of judgement, the ability to grasp what is obscure, the ability to decide between truth and error. Discernment is one way we connect with God. Discernment is not just a series of steps we take to seek direction from God but also an instrument of healing. When exercised in love, discernment can be the surgical scalpel in surgery that makes emotional healing possible.
How to Develop Your Intuition
• Recognize it. Be on alert to recognize when you are having an intuitive moment. If you find yourself thinking about someone more than usual, and they call you up shortly thereafter, it was likely your intuition at work.
• Silence your inner critic.Many times, we try to rationalize away our intuitive thoughts, thinking we should be more logical and rely on facts. The next time you have an intuition about something, don’t analyze it or argue with yourself about it. Give in to it and see what happens. Realizing you were correct will enable you to have more faith in the process the next time.
• Embrace your creativity.Creative activities such as painting, drawing, writing, and crafts allow your mind to flow freely. They can put you in a mindset that allows you to be more open to new ideas and insights.
• Take notes. Carry a small journal or notebook (or use your electronic notes on your cell phone) to record your thoughts, gut feelings, and hunches. Sometimes, we have such reactions throughout the day, but then we forget about them. Writing them down will allow you to review them at your leisure and remember fleeting, but important, feelings that occurred throughout the day.
• Get physical. Go for a walk or a run or even take a shower. Often, taking a break from the daily grind frees our minds to mull over problems and come up with solutions.
• Evaluate your dreams. Often our dreams are windows into our subconscious. Dreams help us process information and deal with stress or unacknowledged desires. They can reveal deep and symbolic messages that escape our attention when we are awake.
• Evaluate the past. There have, no doubt, been many times in the past where you had an intuition and didn’t act on it. You kicked yourself for not listening to yourself. Recall those times and allow them to bolster your confidence in the future.
• Pray. Most important of all, when we need to make a decision, we often have a choice we are leaning toward. However, we second-guess ourselves by going back and forth, unable to decide. In responding to Job, God declares, through a rhetorical question, that he is the source of intuition. “Who gives intuition to the heart and instinct to the mind?” Don’t dismiss the concept of intuition as something mystical or magical. It is God-given. Simply ask the Holy Spirit to lead you as to when to rely on it.
Christians should be cautioned that not all our inner thoughts and feelings should be heeded, for they can lead us astray. “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.” That “feeling” or “something” must be submitted to the Holy Spirit’s discernment for our next step. He is the fountain of wisdom and understanding that Jesus sent specifically to teach and guide us.
As you step into today. Pray all your actions and thoughts will be led by discernment. Be the best you can be, and chase your goals.
Have a wonderful day