Step Two Hundred and Sixty-One


Step 261. I Must Learn To Give With Discernment.
If you give without personal ambition, you will give according to Knowledge, and your gift will be specific and given in such a way that it will empower you and those who can receive your gift. This is Knowledge guiding you. If you try to give for your own self-aggrandizement, if you try to give for your own self-assurance or if you try to give to alleviate an abiding sense of guilt or inadequacy, you will not give with discernment. Your giving, then, will be ill placed and will produce increasing conflict and discouragement for you.

Life does nothing aimlessly. Everything fulfills a purpose. Therefore, your giving must be done with discernment, and your discernment is something you must learn step by step, day by day. This is Wisdom functioning in the world. With Knowledge you must learn this Wisdom; otherwise, you will not be able to give your true gifts effectively and will misinterpret their results. Knowledge will give you that which must be given truly and will direct you to give truly. If you do not interfere with this or place an extra burden upon your giving, your giving will be totally effective and will acknowledge both the giver and the receiver.

Remember this upon the hour. Exercise discernment. There are people you should not give to in a direct way. There are people you should give to in a direct way. There are situations you should not enter. There are situations you must enter. There are problems you should not involve yourself with. There are problems you should involve yourself with. How can you personally discern where your gifts must be placed? Only Knowledge can discern this, and you can only discern it with Knowledge. Therefore, trust your deepest inclinations today. Do not let compulsions born of guilt or fear guide you or motivate you in your desire to give. Practice this day to learn discernment. Practice this day to align yourself with Knowledge.

In your longer practice periods engage yourself once again with attempting to comprehend today’s lesson. Do not be happy with false assumptions. Consider all thoughts and feelings in favor of or against today’s idea. Begin to observe your own ambitions. Begin to observe how they are born of your fears. Begin to discern how simple it is to follow Knowledge. With simplicity comes power. You must learn discernment. Learning this will take time. In this, you learn to utilize all experiences for good, for no experience should be condemned. It should always be used for learning and preparation. In this way, you will not justify error, but use it for your own development and for the advancement of the world.

Practice
 261: Two 30-minute practice periods. Hourly practice.

Here you will find the entire book free for download http://stepstoknowledge.com/

Here you will find pointers for getting started if this is your first encounter with this practice: Taking the Steps to Knowledge.

February 15, 2014 Round One: This is such a valuable step for me today. I am realizing that I know very little about discernment and how to be discreet. I am too direct and open most of the time. Then I wonder why people don’t respond, why I feel uncomfortable, why I feel misunderstood. This is because I don’t know how to give with discernment.

"There are people you should not give to in a direct way. There are people you should give to in a direct way. There are situations you should not enter. There are situations you must enter. There are problems you should not involve yourself with. There are problems you should involve yourself with. How can you personally discern where your gifts must be placed?"

A very good question. How can I know? I am told in this Step that “only Knowledge can discern this, and you can only discern it with Knowledge.” I must trust my deepest inclinations. Most of the time I feel I do, but sometimes I am brought up short and confronted with my naivety and lack of discernment. I wish to become stronger in Knowledge so that I might be more discerning, more able to know where to apply myself and where to better leave things alone.

April 24, 2015 Round Two: I am feeling the verity of this Step today and taking great comfort in it. There is a particular situation in my life that speaks to me in the context of this Step. My deeper inclination is to step away from it, be less involved, not give in a direct way, but in the past I have felt guilty about having these feelings. This relates to a situation regarding my work and a specific person I work with. I feel I have allowed this person to occupy a larger than necessary place in my life and now it is sapping my energy and causing me discomfort. I wish to gently but firmly extricate myself from her grip without condemning myself. I wish to be more discerning in what I share. I wish to draw clear boundaries. I do not wish to continue giving in this situation out of guilt or fear. I feel a cleansing release as I consider this. My experiences during the stillness practices today confirm that this is the right thing to do.

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