97: Hannah Anderson | Goodness and The Lost Art of Discernment

97: Hannah Anderson | Goodness and The Lost Art of Discernment

Hannah Anderson | Goodness and The lost art of discernment

HANNAH R. ANDERSON lives in the haunting Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

She spends her days working beside her husband in rural ministry, caring for their three children, and scratching out odd
moments to write. In those in-between moments, she contributes to a variety of Christian publications.

She also co-hosts the Christ and Pop Culture podcast Persuasion. She is the author of Made for More (Moody, 2014), Humble Roots (Moody, 2016), and All That’s Good: The Lost Art of Discernment.

You can connect with Hannah at her blog www.sometimesalight.com and on Twitter @sometimesalight.

Hannah Anderson joins me on the Grace Enough Podcast to discuss the pursuit of goodness,  derived from the character of God, and how it helps develop discernment in us.

Questions Hannah and I Discussed:

  1. (6:37) You have described the digital age as disorienting.  What do you mean by that?
  2. (13:28) As Christians our initial response is often to close ourselves off to the world and the news and live in a bubble that we perceive as safe, but you challenge your reader to take up Paul’s charge to the Phillipians.  Share a little about that with us.
  3. (19:54) In my limited experience, what I have found is people really don’t understand discernment.  In your book, All That’s Good, you take the reader on a journey of understanding discernment.  For someone, who may struggle to understand discernment in practical terms how would you break it down?
  4. (31:57) We have taken the word goodness and attached a definition to it. That is we aren’t good. There is nothing in us, which is good, which is true, but that’s not what you’re talking about when you’re talking about. Goodness, it’s not about earning God’s favor, as much as it is God’s image in all people. Tease that out for us.
  5. (39:19) “We miss a world of good, beautiful things because we are so worried about making ourselves good and beautiful that we don’t have time to see that God has already made us good and beautiful through His Son. And we miss His good gifts because we are too busy trying to earn them.” If you could charge the listener to go into the world, into challenging and uncomfortable situations and seek out the good, what final thoughts would you share with them?

Quotes to Remember:

“I don’t think we’re any more naive or gullible than any other time in history, but we just have a lot more that we’re being asked to process.”

“So for Paul, the pursuit of silencing the chaos in our minds is not withdraw, it’s engagement in a certain way. It’s engaging with the world, looking for things that are true, honorable, just pure, lovely, commendable and excellent…. Instead of just staying away from the bad things, I want you to learn what goodness looks like, because then you’ll be able to see it, and then you’ll be able to move toward it.”

“Being a discerning person is not just about staying away from bad things or isolating myself from certain voices or certain things, it is an active pursuit of goodness.”

“The pursuit of goodness, will challenge us in a way that simply staying away from evil will never challenge us. If your disposition toward the world and toward discernment is, ‘I’m going to identify whatever is wrong and stay away from it.’ It doesn’t necessarily put a finger on the ways that you might be wrong.”

“The disposition of, ‘I can create a safe life,’ is a functional prosperity gospel.”

“A disposition toward seeking the goodness in a broken world, assumes that brokenness exist, and is going to touch you. But that brokenness is not the realest thing. It’s not the thing that conquers. God, and God’s righteousness through Christ, and the resurrection is the real or true or better thing and we are pursuing that.”

“By the time we get to Genesis 3 is the corruption of goodness. It is not the natural state of God’s work. It is actually what shouldn’t be and so the gospel and redemption and the whole arc of Scripture is trying to return us to the goodness that God has created us for. Now, we’re in process. The world is in process. We’re in that space of already not yet where it’s true that we are saved and we are redeemed in Christ, but we are also being sanctified. And we don’t always live the way we are made. And so when I speak of goodness, I am talking about pursuing those truer things that God has designed for His world and for His people to live in, in spite of the brokenness.”

“We’re saying that there is goodness, because God created us, and that any glory or goodness that we have comes from Him. It is not earned, it is a gift, it is grace. And that every person who walks on this earth has a measure of that grace, by the simple nature of their existence.”

“When I say move toward goodness or you are identifying the goodness that we see in a personality or a giftedness in someone else, we are identifying and naming the beautiful good things that God has made.”

“Lean hard into knowing that your acceptance is not based on your performance or your own goodness, but that He is a source of abundance and goodness for His people.”

Scripture References:

Phil 4:8-9

Hebrews 5: 11-14

Romans 12:2

Genesis 1-3

Resources Mentioned:

Related Episodes:

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