Discovering God's Voice

Emotional intelligence tips from the Adriatic Union Conference women's event

News March 22, 2024

10 March 2024 | Zagreb, Croatia [Svjetlana Veble with tedNEWS]

For the past five years, always in early spring, the Adriatic Union Conference (AUC) Women’s Ministries leadership has organised an event for women to be encouraged and empowered to discover new ways of serving the church and supporting our families and friends.

On Sunday, 10 March, in the vibrant city of Zagreb, Croatia, a gathering of over 130 women from Croatia and Slovenia convened eagerly for a series of workshops led by Vanesa Pizzuto, the Associate Communication and Media Director of the Trans-European Division (TED). Pizzuto’s focus was on the crucial role of emotional intelligence in discerning the voice of God.

Vanesa Preaching at the women's event in Croatia 2024
Vanesa Pizzuto, accompanied by translator Ana Ivanković (left in the picture), shares insights on discerning between the voice of God and the voice of the inner critic.

“We Christians believe that God speaks. But how do we know if the voice we are hearing is really God’s?” Pizzuto asked. Highlighting that, like fingerprints, voices are unique, Pizzuto shared a series of emotional intelligence principles that empower Christians to distinguish God’s voice from a myriad of noises and other voices.

One particularly resonant principle was learning to differentiate between the voice of God and the inner critic. “When we say we hear God, we normally refer to an inspired thought. These thoughts sound like us; they have our voice because it would be really scary to hear somebody else inside our heads!” Pizzuto shared. However, because many have internalised a harsh inner dialogue, “we can get confused and believe that this accusing, bullying voice is God’s.”

Pizzuto explained that any message that is rooted in fear or intimidation, or that makes a person doubt their identity as a beloved child of God, is not from Him. “God is not a bully. When He points out areas of development, He does it constructively and specifically (‘This was wrong’) rather than using demeaning generalisations (‘You are a disaster’),” Pizzuto shared. Inviting the women to heed Jesus’ advice in Matthew 7:15–20 and discern a tree by its fruits, she affirmed, “God’s voice heals and draws you closer to Him, whereas the voice of the inner critic drives you away.”

Women's Ministry event, Croatia 2024
The gathering of the Adriatic Union Conference Women’s Ministries at Zagreb Church

Pizzuto’s presentation included other tips such as managing a variety of emotions when hearing God’s voice, dealing with risk and mistakes, and how corroborating messages using the Bible and a community of mature believers. These insights were warmly received by the attendees. “This is exactly what I needed to hear,” remarked one participant. Another added, “It gave me so much to think about; I feel so encouraged.”

“I want to express my thanks to the small but strong team of women who organised the weekend events,” said Svjetlana Veble, AUC Secretary and Women’s Ministry Director. “Special thanks to Svetlana for her exceptional musical contribution, and to Ana Ivanković, Kristina Laco, and Ana Džuver for their invaluable translation work. To all the wonderful women who collaborated to make this ministry weekend truly unforgettable, let our praise and thanks be to God for this inspiring experience!”

[Photos: Rudolf Bladt Adventist Media Exchange, CC BY 4].

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