Learning the Truth
Verse 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,
One of the benefits of having a greater insight into the heart of God is that it enables us to discern. Discernment isn’t something that is commonly sought in today’s world but it something that should be desired by every Christian.
Discernment is something that is useful in everyday life situations but there is a discernment that comes from the Holy Spirit. This spiritual discernment is something that enables us to sense when something isn’t right on a spiritual level. A well-known quote by Charles Spurgeon says, "Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right." This is what Paul was praying for his friends and it is something that we should be praying for our friends and ourselves too.
Discernment is what can help us keep from getting swept away by false teaching. False teachers are as apt to give half-truths as they are to speak full lies. Paul told the Ephesians in his letter to them that they had been given preachers, teachers and evangelists and the like so that they could know truth and not be influenced by every wave of new teaching (Ephesians 4:11-14). This is just as important today as it was in those days.
The fact that we have information coming at us in such a high rate these days could indicate that we may need a bigger dose of discernment. And that brings us back to the source of discernment. One of the Holy Spirit’s jobs is to help us remember the things that we have been taught and read in the Bible. Biblical teaching is the very source of knowledge that the Spirit uses to build our level of discernment.
This seems like such a basic need in the Christian life and that is why we need to be praying for it for our Christian friends and ourselves. Desiring to grow spiritually should be something that is wanted by every one of us. This is the proof of intimacy with the Father. This is a sign of spiritual health.
Making It Personal
What would you say is your level of discernment? What steps are you taking to know the teaching of the Bible? Are you learning to listen to the Spirit and discerning through His promptings?
Making It Personal Kids
What do you think it means to discern? How can you know what is right and what is wrong? Do you always want to do right?
Father, thank You for giving us Your Spirit to help us discern. Give us a desire to grow in our knowledge of You and Your teachings so that we can always discern between what is right and what is almost right. In Jesus’ name, amen.