Discernment can be defined as the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure; an act of perceiving something; a power to see what is not evident to the average mind.”
Hebrews 5:14 “But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”
A girlfriend and I got into a conversation about portraying a Christ-like attitude. In our conversation, we had varying positions being Christ-like. My belief about Christ is that he prayed for himself and others; but Christ was always an action. Christ helped, healed, gave, rebuked, calmed, delivered, refined, improved, influenced, and taught just to name a few.
My position in our conversation was that when Christ could help someone in need, he would do just that. I made the statement that as Christians we should try to be more Christ-like. I gave the example that often we as Christians will often tell others we will pray for them- when in fact, we have the power to help them (offer an act of service). My friend made a statement, well I always ask GOD for discernment before I help others. She then said even if I could help someone, that doesn’t mean I will.
Her statements confused me. Honestly, I was quiet uncomfortable with her statement because a few months prior- I had asked her for help (and I really needed the help). She didn’t understand that I was in dire need, although I explained to her that I was. I thought to myself, maybe she prayed for discernment. I was confused by the true meaning of discernment so of course I sought GOD. Here’s what I learned.
1. Discernment is a gift. Just like other gifts given by GOD, some of us were graced with the gift of discernment. Those with the gift of discernment can recognize authenticity and are good judges of the character of others and can easily differentiate good vs evil.
2. Discernment is GOD led. The Holy Spirit will lead us or give us direction in a specific matter if we seek him. In order for us to receive his direction, we must spend time with the spirit and the spirit will guide us.
3. Discernment is not the same as judgment. We often judge people, places, and positions based on what we see, what we have experienced, what we have been told, and what we perceive. Discernment frees us from past and helps us compassionately step into the present.
After researching more about discernment, I learned that I didn’t clearly understand the power of discernment. I am so glad I did the research because I learned so much. I learned that human nature often causes us to judge someone else’s circumstances based on what we think their experiences are, we even sometimes judge others based on our own experiences. I learned that many of us are gifted with discernment from GOD and is a gift that if not used to give GOD the glory- our gifts might be diluted. Lastly I learned that we must rely on the Holy Spirit to help us when we need discernment over a situation or circumstance (discernment is not like a wild card- you actually must spend time seeking GOD’s wisdom).
Maybe you too have judged someone and confused judging them as discernment. Maybe you too want to develop more of a Christ-like (action) attitude towards others. Maybe you want to gain more wisdom and develop a more discerning spirit.
If this is you, I challenge you to ask GOD to show you how to better understand discernment- so that you can apply it to all areas of your life. Discernment is truth. Discernment is real. Discernment is present. Discernment is good. Discernment is seeing how God sees. May GOD help us to see things how he sees them. Spending time with him will help us learn how to distinguish good from evil. Let’s continue to seek GOD together in the area of discernment. I DARE You.
Thank you for helping me better understand discernment. Please help me to be free from judging others and help me to rest in your love when making decisions. I am so grateful your spirit will help me compassionately make Christ-like decisions.
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