“Who is wise? Let them realize these things. Who is discerning? Let them understand. The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.” – Hosea 14:9

Discernment is critical for living rightly in our world today. The lines between truth and untruth, good and evil, right and wrong have become fuzzy. Too often, good is perceived as evil and evil is touted as good. Too many people carry on in the gray areas of life, living out their own individual perceptions of the truth.

Daily, we are bombarded by the world’s values that run counter to Scripture. The biblical view of morality faces constant opposition. Our belief system is continually put to the test. Without discernment from God’s Word and the Holy Spirit, we can easily be swayed into wrong choices and decisions.

“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” – 1 Corinthians 2:14

Discernment is a gift from God that is honed over time by studying His Word, learning its truths and putting them into practice in one’s life. It means recognizing and following the Spirit’s leadings in one’s words and actions rather than following one’s own inclinations. It means boldly standing for one’s beliefs and not being swayed by societal influences.

Discerning believers recognize the difference between truth and untruth, wisdom and foolishness, right and wrong, good and evil. They exhibit keen insight and understanding of people and social interactions. They see the true character of individuals… seeing through their facades, aware of their inner motives. Yet they are careful to use this insight to help and protect, not to judge.

Ones with discerning minds think biblically and act wisely. All is measured against the plumb line of God’s Word. They have a deep understanding of Scripture and live out its precepts. They readily detect anything that deviates from God’s truth. They view circumstances and events with wisdom, perception and sound judgment. Their choices are made rationally not emotionally. Their decisions are sound, enlightened and informed.

“Discernment is not a matter of telling the difference between right and wrong; rather it is telling the difference between right and almost right.” – Charles Spurgeon

Perhaps we know the difference between right and wrong. We do not choose the blatantly wrong paths. Yet do we discern between right and almost right? The world walks the fence in this area, appearing to do the right things. Yet words and actions do not line up with the Word of God, the source of all truth.

Perhaps we know the difference between good and evil. We do not choose to go down obvious paths of evil. Yet do we discern between good and almost good? Almost good gives the appearance of being good. Yet upon closer examination, comparing it to the good taught in the Bible, it veers away in fundamental points.

Are we living by the infallible truth of God’s Word… or are we living by the almost truth so prevalent in the world? The truths of Scripture can be twisted ever so slightly so as not to be detected except by the discerning mind. Living by the truth means knowing Jesus, abiding with Him and measuring all against the authority of the Bible.

“If you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.” – Proverbs 2:3-5

God is the supreme, highest and only source of truth. He desires His people to have discerning minds…. where our thoughts become ever more closely aligned with His thoughts and our ways become ever more conformed to His ways.

We learn to recognize our Shepherd’s voice leading us… and to not follow the deceptions of the world. We choose to stand for what is wise, what is good, what is right, what is truth… and stand against all that opposes. For this is the life that pleases God.