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Biblical Discernment

It seems that Biblical discernment has fallen upon leans times lately. In an effort to conform to our culture and appear tolerant in all things many Christians have parked the scriptural directives we have to be discerning people. Believers are directed in 1 Thess. 5:21 to “examine everything carefully”. The idea is to “test” or “prove”. It refers to the process of testing something to reveal it’s genuineness. Some may say “hold on! What about Matt. 7:1?” was Jesus not forbidding any type of judgment here? Actually when we take the context of Matt 7 Jesus was condemning hypocritical judgment, holding others to a higher standard than ourselves. He also was commanding that first we look inward and judge ourselves. However Jesus then gives a formula to help our brother in discernment.
We make judgment calls everyday. If you take your child by daycare to drop her off and the
daycare worker is holding a bottle of Jack Daniels in one hand and a meth pipe in the other while staggering around talking incoherently, most of us would quickly make a judgment call and hightail it out of there. In doing so you just judged another person and situation, and rightly so. Jesus in His Word never forbade all judgment, only hypocritical judgment or the judgment of others hearts and motives. The latter is reserved for God to judge and Him alone. However we are called by Jesus to “Judge with right judgment” in John 7 and we are called to measure teachers of the Word and to hold each other accountable by measuring outward actions. We are to do this carefully, graciously and only after we have allowed God to search our on hearts and motives. However we are to be discerning. Biblical discernment can be hard work as it calls us first to be honest with God about ourselves and then it calls us to step out of the comfort of “tolerance at any cost” to be honest with other believers. We judge those within, those who claim the name of Christ. Here is where there is a great need of scriptural discernment and right judgment in our days. May we “examine everything carefully” and make “right judgment” while at the same time being honest about ourselves with our Lord. May we truly be discerning believers once again foregoing the “tolerance at any cost” cry of a humanistic culture.
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