Discernment: Part I
This space will be devoted to a group of Christian authors and readers, all of us delving deeper into God’s inspired word through our comments. I’m merely acting as the catalyst to get us started each week. After this Discernment series, I hope to post on topics such as The Soul—What Is It? And Holy Spirit—What’s He Doing in Our Lives? Then I intend to open it up to Guest posts on this topic: The Kingdom—Are We Living In It Now? Come join us. Let’s Glorify God with our minds and words!
Part I: What Is Discernment?
Well, isn’t it the ability to judge well?
But judgment is an ambiguous word. As F.F. Bruce (http://www.acts17-11.com/discern.html) put it: “It may mean sitting in judgment on people (or even condemning them), or it may mean exercising proper discrimination. In the former sense judgment is depreciated; in the latter sense it is recommended.”
Mat 7:1 tells us, “Judge not lest you also be judged in the same way,” meaning if I judge you, God will use the same yardstick to judge me.
I don’t know about you, but that strikes fear in my soul.
Yet, 1 Cor 2:15 says: “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things….”
Well, there seems to be a conflict here, no? Actually, not at all. There‘s a proper time to exercise judgment and also a lousy way to employ it. (Like this hot-head on the right. BTW, It’d be just as wrong to destroy the little fella’s reputation by telling somebody else what he thinks about him.)
In the NIV Study Notes, the Christian is not to judge hypocritically or self-righteously…[But] Scripture repeatedly exhorts believers to evaluate carefully and choose between good and bad people, and choices. The Christian is to “test everything.”
So, what are we to judge?
True, we can test all sorts of things without being hypocritical: Food: “This is delicious.” “This is awful.” Advice: “That’s excellent advice.” “I think he just gave me some bad advice.” A test drive: “Honey, this is the car I always wanted.” “I’d never buy this car.” The list goes on.
And, we can test people.
Many people are led astray (and even emptied of their wallets!) by false teachers. TV evangelism is frought with them. Many preach a prosperity gospel rather than a resurrected Jesus gospel. “Support my ministry and God will bless you beyond your wildest dreams.” Ever heard that line? There’s not an iota of true gospel in it. Fact is, the opposite is true. Every true Christian will go through trials, tribulations, and sufferings. Because our savior did, we also will. But our sufferings on planet earth are nothing compared to the eternal paradise we’ll live in eventually.
From GotQuestions.org: “Some have mistakenly defined spiritual discernment as a God-given awareness of evil or good spiritual presences—the ability to tell if a demon is in the room. While some people may possess this capability, it is not the biblical meaning of discernment. Spiritual discernment ultimately has to do with wisdom and the ability to distinguish truth from error.” Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/spiritual-discernment.html#ixzz2aOOaji7S
Let us know what you think discernment is….
Next week, we’ll look at Part II of Discernment: How Can We Discern Good From Evil.”
God didn’t make us to be successful. He made us to be Holy.