Written by cycleguy on April 27th, 2017

Mention the word discernment and I’m guessing 7 out of 10 in a word association game will say, “Judgemental.”  Along with that word will also come two others closely on its heel: hypocritical and arrogant.  We have been somewhat conditioned to believe that being discerning is another synonym for being judgemental. Truthfully, some of what passes for discernment is nothing more than judgementalism, giving people an opportunity to pass off their pet teaching as “the only way.”

The real tragedy is these “discernments” are most often based on externals. The way you dress. The way you wear your hair. How close-cropped the guys’ hair is. Stuff which is an aside and never made an issue as to whether someone is a follower of Christ or not. In this week’s sermon from I John 4:1-6, I’ll be examining this whole idea of discernment. In reality, every follower of Christ has the responsibility to “test the spirits.” Even a cursory glance at the Scripture will show outward adornment has absolutely no place in a person’s discernment. Paul told Timothy, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions.” 2 Timothy 4:3.

My plan for Sunday is to not only give a basis for discernment but to also offer some guidelines to consider. If you are close by I invite you to come by and visit. For those of you who read this from parts unknown, I welcome your prayers.


12 Comments so far ↓

  1. Jeff says:

    I never think of “Discernment” as having anything to do with hypocrisy or arrogance. It is the art of judging. By judging I mean the ability to determine what is Bullshit and what is true. As a businessman I have always had to be able to judge a person by the believability of his words. Will he do what he says he will do? Can I rely on this person. Can I make promises to my customer based on what he promises to me. That is what discernment means to me as far as other people are concerned.
    A lot of things need to be considered and thus it becomes an art to separate the BS from the truth. In practicing the art of discernment all of my life I have had to come to the conclusion that God’s are all man made (mostly male man-made) and anyone that tells you otherwise, without evidence, is someone to be careful of. And there are plenty of hucksters and con men selling their supernatural story to unsuspecting victims. Turn on the TV. There they are.

    • cycleguy says:

      I agree with you assessment of making judgments for your business. My point of judging and arrogance is what the world will say about a follower of Christ who tries to be discerning in what is right and what is wrong. You hear it all the time in the media. But I really agree with you about all things need to be considered. And sadly, your comment about the hucksters is true.

  2. Betty Draper says:

    I do believe brother the time has come in the fulfillment of II Tim. 4:3.

  3. I’m with you. I shied away from discernment for a while because people used it so poorly, but if there’s a counterfeit, there’s a true as well. It’s so important for believers to have genuine discernment. Praying for wisdom and grace for you, Bill.

  4. Genuine discernment, as Jason said, is crucial to the Christian life, Bill. I’ll be holding you in prayer for Sunday.

  5. Meekly Seeking says:

    I’ve never associated those words together. But, now that you’ve mentioned it, I can see that I’ve been on the receiving end of that negative version a time or three.

    • cycleguy says:

      MS: I think discernment can be done wrongly. My primary concern is spiritually…what are we to believe and not believe. John says, “Test the spirits.” Sadly, when we do make choices on what we believe to be right or wrong, we will be judged as hypocritical or judgmental.

  6. Linda Stoll says:

    We were just talking about the difference between ‘judging’ and ‘discernment’ in the Bible Study we go to on Wednesdays.

    It was a hearty discussion for sure …

  7. floyd says:

    Don’t know how I missed this one? Love the truth in this, Bill. Having discernment can silently save all of us a boat load of grief. I’m learning that gift slowly.

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