Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The ABC’s of Discernment: V is for Vigilance & Vanity

As you start to develop your discernment, you must be on your guard. For as your discernment grows, it is easy to forget that discernment primarily deals with the gray areas of life, those things that aren’t necessarily right or wrong in of themselves. It is easy for pride to be stirred up and dissension to grow between those of differing levels of discernment. It is easy to think that you have it all figured out and squared away, and therefore, what you have “discerned” must be right to the exclusion of all others.

But while absolutes exist, discernment isn’t primarily about rules. It is about guidelines, about experiencing freedom in Christ while setting appropriate guardrails to protect you personally from falling into sin.

Except we tend to prefer rules over guidelines, don’t we? For rules provide a measuring stick with which to judge others. Rules allow us to condemn those who exercise more freedom than us. Rules allow us to sneer at those who regulate their lives more strictly than us. And pride spreads its insidious tendrils through our hearts and lives. Beware of such vanity! It will only bring discord where God intended harmony, much to Satan’s pleasure.

For we are not each other’s master. It is God to whom we must give account. So yes, stand firm in your personal convictions. But in doing so, remain vigilant over your own heart and extend grace in abundance to others.

Stirring the Pot:
Who do you see as exercising great freedom—perhaps “too much” freedom—in their lives?
Who do you see as overly restricted?
How can you extend grace to both while standing firm in your personal convictions?

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