Monday, December 20, 2010

Misconceptions about Discernment #2

Misconception #2: Discernment is instinctual.

Truth: Discernment can be and must be learned. “But solid food is for the nature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” Hebrews 5:14, emphasis mine.

Many Christians seem to think the ability to discern comes with salvation. That we will be able to simply know what is right and what is wrong. After all, isn’t that one reason why the Holy Spirit is give to us?

While the Holy Spirit can and does guide, warning us when we’re headed for trouble, God also provided us with a mind, which He expects us to use, and His Word, which He expects us to learn. Therefore, why do we expect Him to bail us out of the problems which we should have known how to avoid if we had simply taken the time to know the instruction manual?

Yes, God is gracious and does often help us out. Nevertheless, we are expected to study, learn grow, think. For when we become a Christian, we don’t instantly become perfect. Bad habits and large areas of desensitization carry over. Our old nature, though dead, produces a specter to haunt us. And though we have been given sight, it won’t do us any good if we keep our eyes closed.

Therefore, we must train ourselves to discern. For the truth we have will only benefit us as much as we can distinguish it from Satan’s counterfeits—and that only comes if we learn what truth looks like.

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