Why We Need Spiritual Discernment


Choices aren’t always black and white—this is why we need a well-developed spirit of discernment.

PHIL. 1:1-10

Things are not always what they seem is the mantra of many mystery novels and television shows, but it’s also a wise attitude for successful living. Too many people make decisions based on feelings or judge situations by what appears to be real. God has given every believer a spirit of discernment so we can determine what’s best.

Think about how many decisions a person must make on a daily basis—choices about family, finances, work, and more. Ideally, a decision would have a correct choice and an incorrect one. As a result, the choice would be easy. In reality, what seems right isn’t always what’s best. Some things, while neither wrong nor sinful, are nonetheless outside of God’s will for us.

Scripture doesn’t contain specific directives regarding every possible life scenario. Instead, it’s filled with principles laid down by direct teaching or, at times, through stories. Believers are able to grow in spiritual maturity so that biblical principles coupled with guidance from the Holy Spirit become tools for making godly judgments. The question isn’t whether a certain choice looks good or feels right, but whether it’s God’s will for that point in a person’s life.

A well-developed spirit of discernment is essential for living in God’s will. Without this sensitivity to the Lord’s plan, a man or woman takes everything at face value. Many choices that look good and feel right are actually contrary to what the Lord desires for a believer’s life. That is why we must evaluate situations from a biblical perspective.

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