I think that a lesson I learned in my first year of law school could be applied to learning or teaching spiritual discernment and development.
When writing an essay on exams first year law students are taught to use IRAC. IRAC stands for Issue, Rule, Analysis, and Conclusion. The question, usually a hypothetical with various facts determines the issue. When the issue is identified you determine the Rule or the law that applies to the facts of the situation. Analysis takes the law or laws into consideration and you provide discussion on how they may relate to the hypothetical facts. Finally your conclusion, how do you think the issue should be resolved.
Dean was wondering if he should lie to his girlfriend about meeting another girl at the bar last night.
Issues: How serious is the relationship with his girlfriend and is the relationship approved of by God’s law? What are his intentions to the girl he met last night? What was he doing at a bar? Should he lie? What are his motives for lying?
Rule(s): Fornication is sin. Hebrews 13:4. Lust is sin. Matthew 5:28. Drunkeness can lead to damnation. Galatians 5:21. Thou shalt not lie. Exodus 20:16
Analysis: Knowing the law, Dean should develop a Christian relationship with his girlfriend in consideration of marriage. Dean should not go to bars and drink too much. Dean should not look on a woman with lust and Dean should not lie.
Conclusion: Following God’s word can be hard. Knowing his law is key. If you know the rule you let the rule govern. Keeping God’s law is crucial to Christian living. The result of keeping his law is strong and healthy relationships on Earth and the promise of a future in Heaven.