Written by Jason Webb

In our ongoing series on trust, we have explored various facets that contribute to establishing and maintaining trust in our relationships. Today, we delve into an essential building block many overlook: Spiritual Discernment. Although familiar, this concept is often misunderstood and underutilized, mainly due to the misconception that it is a special gift bestowed upon a chosen few.

Understanding Spiritual Discernment

Spiritual discernment, far from being an exclusive gift, is a universal ability. It allows us to perceive and distinguish between truth and deception in our interactions and relationships. This deeper wisdom, often referred to as the voice of God, is not reserved for a select few. Scripture and experience affirm that it is within everyone’s reach.

James 1:5-6 encourages us that if we lack wisdom, we should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to us. This passage demystifies the process, emphasizing that everyone has access to divine wisdom; it merely requires faith and the willingness to seek and listen.

Real-Life Applications of Discernment

Consider the experience of someone with the gift of discernment, like my wife, Joie. She could sense dishonesty in someone shortly after meeting them—a revelation later proved accurate. Her ability might seem extraordinary, but it is a testament to what we can all achieve through faith and attentiveness to spiritual whispers.

These “Whispers of Wisdom” often come in quiet moments of reflection, such as during meditation or prayer, but they can also be sensed amidst the hustle and bustle of life. They can be a sudden thought or feeling that guides us in a certain direction, a recurring theme or message that we notice in different situations, or a strong intuition about a person or a situation. It is about continuously relying on God to provide guidance when needed. As John 16:13 states, the Spirit of Truth guides us into all truth, revealing the reality of our circumstances and empowering us to make informed decisions.

The Role of a “Trust Committee”

Even with our access to divine wisdom, there are times when we struggle to discern or doubt our perceptions. This is where a “Trust Committee” can be invaluable. This small group of trusted individuals acts as a sounding board, guiding and validating our feelings and concerns. They help us discern the truth in situations where our judgment might be clouded, providing a sense of support and guidance.

Proverbs 15:22 and 24:6 highlight the importance of having many advisers. Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers, they succeed. This principle applies directly to our personal trust decisions, ensuring safety and success through collective wisdom.

Self-Awareness and Addressing Personal Bias

Romans 12:2 calls us not to conform to the pattern of this world but to be transformed by renewing our minds. This transformation is crucial in recognizing and overcoming our biases and trust issues. Our past experiences, especially traumatic ones, can create patterns that hinder our ability to trust and engage in healthy relationships. To renew our minds, we need to change the way we think about trust and relationships. We need to challenge our assumptions and beliefs, and be open to new perspectives and experiences.

By becoming aware of these patterns—whether we tend to avoid closeness, cling too tightly, or jump from one relationship to another—we can begin to address and heal from these wounds. This process allows us to establish more meaningful and trusting relationships.

The Dual Nature of Trustworthiness

Finally, our ability to trust others is deeply interconnected with our personal trustworthiness. Personal trustworthiness refers to the qualities we embody that make others feel safe and secure in our presence. These qualities include honesty, reliability, compassion, and forgiveness. 

Hebrews 5:14 emphasizes that maturity comes from constantly using our faculties to distinguish good from evil. This maturity is critical in discerning trustworthiness in others and in ourselves. It is about being self-aware, recognizing our strengths and weaknesses, and continuously striving to improve and grow.


As we build on these foundational blocks—spiritual discernment, the counsel of trusted advisers, self-awareness, and personal trustworthiness—we enhance our ability to foster and sustain deep, trusting relationships. This journey requires constant effort and openness to divine guidance. To develop your spiritual discernment, you can start by setting aside regular reflection and prayer and paying attention to the “Whispers of Wisdom” in your life. To enhance your personal trustworthiness, you can practice honesty and reliability in your interactions, and work on developing qualities such as compassion and forgiveness. The rewards of secure, stable relationships are worth the endeavor.

Through understanding and applying these principles, we not only navigate our relationships more effectively but also move closer to a life of fulfillment and peace grounded in trust and wisdom.