Discernment versus Judgement
This is WEEK 14 of the Character Development Series I am doing for 2012. So glad you stopped by.
“Examine the contents, not the bottle “- Talmud
“You can see deeply into a tangled forest if you peer closely” – Mike Kershnar
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” –Reinhold Niebuhr
Synonyms for Discernment: comprehension, insight, perception, understanding
Antonyms for Discernment: folly, foolishness, senselessness, misjudgement
What the Bible says about Discernment:
1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Philippians 1:9-10 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,
Proverbs 2: 1-5 My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.
1 Cor 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
Examples from the Bible:
Adam and Eve: failed to distinguish between good and evil
Joseph was given a position of favor by Pharoah because of the spiritual wisdom and discernment he displayed.
Rehoboam rejected the advice of the elders 1 Kings 12
Mary and Martha: Luke 10:31-42
The Example of Jesus to Us:
Matthew 10:16 “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
Matthew 7: 1- 5 Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
Jesus modeled discernment when tempted by the devil in the desert. See Matthew 4: 1-11
Personal Application and Thoughts:
Discernment is a very important spiritual component of successfully growing as a Christian. God will give us wisdom and discernment if we seek it, ask for it, and allow him to teach us and speak to us. It is through an intimate relationship with God which includes studying His word, meditating and pondering about spiritual things, and praying that we hear His voice, recognize His hand, and know His will. God does not want us to be in the dark. He wants us to have wisdom and knowledge. His Word contains great mysteries and this is intentional so that we will be compelled into an interactive relationship with Him to grow in our knowledge and understanding. It is a wonderful experience when you suddenly have that epiphany of understanding something spiritual and knowing that God has revealed it to you. It is a total change in your perspective of life when you begin to view the world through the eyes of God and to view people as God would want you to …..with unconditional love and without judgement.
Prayer For You: May God grant you spiritual insight and understanding as you grow closer and more intimately involved in pursuing a relationship with Him. May you be able to discern God’s will for you life, discern how God wants you to view the people and circumstances in your life, and respond to those people/circumstances as He would desire.