Blogging A to Z Challenge
To be “discerning” means to be discriminating, critical, knowledgeable. Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, said, “This is my prayer: That your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ...” Phil. 1:9-10
King Solomon asked God for wisdom and discernment, and God granted it to him; “’Now O Lord my God…give your servant a discerning heart…to distinguish between right and wrong…’ The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him, ‘…I will give you a wise and discerning heart…’” 1 Kings 9-12 (excerpted)
Be discerning in your spiritual life. Even well-known authors and Christian speakers can be led astray and lead you away from what the Bible really says and means. In this election year, candidates often speak of their religious beliefs. Do they really know what they’re talking about?
How can you be discerning?
- Know, for yourself, what the Bible says. Read it and study it. Paul told Timothy, “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16. The words of the Bible are God’s words, and He has given them to us so that we can teach, correct, and be competent and equipped to share His Word. (Go to The Bible Tells Me So! for tips on Bible study.) Ask your pastor or religious leader to suggest reference books that will help you better understand the Bible—but remember, use the Bible itself as your primary source.
- Question what you read and hear, from “regular” people as well as from well-known leaders. Test what they say and write against what the Bible says and the theology of your denomination.
- Ask God for wisdom and discernment—and believe that he will give it to you. James writes, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt…” James 1:5-6
The book of Proverbs (which is believed to be mostly written by King Solomon, after he asked God for wisdom and discernment) speaks of discernment several times, including the following:
“The discerning heart seeks knowledge…” Proverbs 15:14
“The wise in heart are called discerning…” Proverbs 16:21
“The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge…” Proverbs 18:15
(I’m also blogging for the A to Z Challenge at Home is Where the Mom Is . Today the topic is “Distractions”.)