The Bible, as a sacred text, provides us with profound wisdom about life’s complexities, including the concept of discernment. The Bible discusses the notion of discernment in many contexts – from making moral judgments to understanding God’s will. As such, it offers us a guide in navigating the complexities of life.
What is Discernment?
The term “discernment” typically refers to the ability to distinguish or differentiate between right and wrong, good and evil. In a theological context, discernment takes on a deeper connotation, often pertaining to understanding God’s will or distinguishing truth from falsehood.
Biblical References on Discernment
The Bible contains numerous references to discernment. For instance, in the Book of Proverbs (1:2-5), Solomon highlights the importance of gaining wisdom and discernment to understand and interpret the Proverbs correctly.
“For gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young – let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.”
Another significant verse is from the Epistle to the Hebrews (5:14), where discernment is related to maturity in spiritual life:
“But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”
Discernment and Spiritual Growth
As pointed out in Hebrews, spiritual growth involves honing our powers of discernment. This spiritual discernment is different from worldly wisdom or analytical thinking (1 Corinthians 2:14). It entails opening oneself to the workings of the Holy Spirit and receiving insight beyond human comprehension.
Applying Discernment in Today’s World
Applying biblical principles of discernment in today’s complex world can be challenging. However, with careful prayer, reflection on the Word of God, and openness to the Holy Spirit, Christians can effectively exercise discernment. In this age of moral relativism and quick-fix solutions, the need for discernment to navigate life’s challenging decisions is paramount.
The Consequences of Lack of Discernment
The Bible also warns about the dire consequences of lack of discernment. For instance, Hosea 4:6 declares, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Knowledge here refers to discernment, a crucial necessity for the spiritual life.
Discernment, according to the Bible, is an essential component of a mature Christian life. It’s instrumental in distinguishing right from wrong, understanding God’s will, and making decisions in alignment with one’s faith. In a world where truth becomes increasingly hard to distinguish from falsehood, discernment becomes more critical now than ever.