The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way, but the folly of fools is deceiving. Proverbs 14:8
I often find that many of our spiritual and everyday life challenges demand discernment in order to respond appropriately. We often see how a lack of discernment can eventually produce failure, bankruptcy, marriage break up, poverty and even death. It all boils down to a failure to ‘discern’ which means to have the skill to consider with full attention and to ponder a matter.
Might I be brave enough to say …today in our world there is an amazing increase in ‘intellectual know how’ but an alarming dearth of discernment. We see this dearth in our governing bodies, our politicians, our learning institutes and even more evident, in many families. How we as a society need wisdom…but the way of wisdom is through people ‘discerning…pondering thinking through the long-term consequences of any action that might be taken.
For the believer it is imperative that we are discerning, because so much of our earthly engagement has eternal consequences at stake. This is where it becomes increasingly complex because so many decisions in our fast pace, intellectual world, often demands of us, immediacy. No time to ponder; no time to consider deeply! On top of that there are so many options, where all is not as ‘black & white as it once was. It’s so easy to be deceived into ‘grey areas’ of Christian living. Note what C H. Spurgeon once said: “Discernment is not simply telling the difference between what is right and wrong; rather, it is the difference between right and almost right.”