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Understanding What Discernment Is
Knowledge is learning. Wisdom is applied knowledge. Discernment is the ability to judge truthfulness and rightness of knowledge. As for spiritual discernment, there is something more:
- It is the ability to determine the difference between truth and error.
- It is the ability to see right through fake truths and half-truths.
- It is the ability to rightly judge whether a particular course of action (or behavior) is right or wrong.
- It is the ability to determine the next needed or rightful step in decision making or in relational matters.
- It is the ability to determine the difference between better and best and to pursue the latter.
- To spiritually discern is to know what is authentic and to spot hypocrisy and counterfeit.
- To spiritually discern is to perceive spiritual issues accurately and rightfully.
- To spiritually discern is to determine the Holy Spirit's desire and leading on a matter.
The Christian who has been gifted with spiritual discernment has a keen sense in all these. Click this: 1 Cor. 12:10
Sharpen Your Sense of Discernment
- Read up. Glean knowledge after knowledge.
- Listen up. Pay attention to what people share, Expose yourself to various opinions, way of thought, communication, and reasoning. There is always something you can learn from others.
- Filter. Be selective. As time progresses, you will be able to perceive what is worthwhile and what isn't, what is of value and what isn't.
- Validate. Know things for sure. Don't just listen to what people, books, and broadcast communication say, be responsible for your own learning. Compare and confirm for verity and accuracy.
- Apply. Whenever you learn that you should do something. Do it. This furthers knowledge, wisdom, and discernment.
- Update. Never refuse further learning. That puts you in danger of stagnation.
- Evaluate. Never instantly reject correction, suggestion, and opinion. This attitude allows you to continually improve and increase in knowledge, wisdom, and discernment.
- Challenge yourself. Oswald Chambers advises on how to grow towards more learning:
"We should always choose books, like we chose friends, just a bit beyond us, so that we have to do our level best to keep up with them."— Oswald Chambers
1. Discerning God's plan and purpose for your life
Romans 12:1-2 - "Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you]."
- Present yourself to God i(n worship) living, holy, and well-pleasing to Him.
- Do not be influenced by the world's values and way of life.
- Be transformed by actively focusing and adapting right values.
2. Obedience is a sign of discernment.
Proverbs 28:7- "He who keeps the law [of God and man] is a wise and discerning son"
- A discerning person submits to the legal system.
- A discerning person submits to the instructions of God in His Word.
3. A discerning person sees his lack of and further need for more learning.
Proverbs 15:14- "The mind of the intelligent and discerning seeks knowledge and eagerly inquires after it, But the mouth of the [stubborn] fool feeds on foolishness."
- A discerning person is in search of knowledge.
- A discerning person rejects foolishness.
4. A discerning person talks sensibly and wisely.
Proverbs 10:13- "On the lips of the discerning, [skillful and godly] wisdom is found, But discipline and the rod are for the back of the one who is without common sense and understanding."
5. Discernment comes from rightly processing learning.
Proverbs 4:7- “The beginning of wisdom is: Get [skillful and godly] wisdom [it is preeminent]! And with all your acquiring, get understanding [actively seek spiritual discernment, mature comprehension, and logical interpretation].
- Get knowledge.
- Apply. Find its contribution to your life
- Comprehend (Understand further). Evaluate, Determine, Judge.
- Interpret logically. Evaluate, Determine, Judge.
6. Discernment comes from recognizing and listening to the voice of experience or authority.
Proverbs 4:1- "Hear, O children, the instruction of a father, And pay attention [and be willing to learn] so that you may gain understanding and intelligent discernment."