Try It On

(Learn to Discern, Principle #3)

Have you ever gone shopping and found an item on clearance that you really want, but are too tired to try on? You buy it, (because it’s on clearance! What a deal!) then you get it home, only to discover that it looks terrible on and can’t be returned? Me too.

Now I have a rule: If I don’t try it, I don’t buy it.

This little mantra works for shopping and for discernment. In fact, it’s a key part of discernment: you’ve got to try the thing on.

You’re faced with two (or more) good options. You know they are good, because you can’t discern something bad. But discerning between these goods is tough, and one way to know whether or not something is a good fit is to try it on.

Unlike the clearance clothing item, you may not be able to actually try it. Take the example of discerning a move to a new job. You can’t accept a job offer and leave after three days just because you were “trying it on.” It’s definitely not returnable.

But you can try things on mentally and emotionally.

For each good option, pretend to say yes and live as though you have said yes to it for a few days. Don’t actually quit your job, but in your own mind, decide that you will be quitting and taking this new option.

How does it feel? How does it fit?

Keep a journal, talk with a friend, notice your emotional response and physical energy levels.

Then, for the next few days, try the opposite option. In your mind, decide to live as though you are turning down the new job offer and staying where you are. How does it feel? How does it fit?

Your own words in your journal and your friend’s reflection back to you will be a pretty good indicator of where your best options lie. Usually within those “trying it on” days, you’ll find yourself feeling positive about the decision, or regretting it.

Either way, the good news is that you haven’t made that final purchase and you aren’t stuck with a dress that hugs in all the wrong places, even if it was only £19.99.


Do you have any discernment options that need trying on?