Posts Tagged ‘discernment’

Over the years I have been hesitant to share things, especially in church messages, that come from “secular” sources. I’ve since moderated on that to some degree. Here’s the truth, just because I disagree with someone in an area, or even a whole lot of areas doesn’t mean they have nothing to offer. I call it the broken clock theory, i.e. even a broken clock is right twice a day (unless it’s set to military time, then it’s only right once.)

At the end of the day, truth is truth and if I can use that truth to draw someone to the ultimate truth, I should probably use it. Of course there are exceptions. If something will lead someone astray, I need to use discernment and look for something else. After all, I am a leader and I have been entrusted with leading people to Christ. That is a responsibility that all who have it must take very seriously.


This is a slight departure from our usual subject matter, but it is so important. In all of our lives there come times of decision. Some decisions are easy, one path is clearly better than the other and the choice is obvious. Some decisions are made harder by temptation. One way is clearly sinful and we know it’s not the right way but the temptation is pounding against our defenses. This is actually an easy decision too, because deep in our hearts we know the right way to go is the way that keeps us out of sin. The hard part is not discerning the right decision. the hard part is beating the temptation. The words of Paul are helpful here:

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

There is a way out, the hard choice here is to take it.

Then there are the really hard decisions. There are two types. The first is the no-win situations. To complicate things slightly, there are also two types of no-win situations. The first is the choice between two wrong things. The truth here is the lesser of two evils is still evil. In these situations there is usually a third option and it is usually the right one, choosing none of the above and looking for a solution which contains no evil.

Then there are the hard things we face in life where neither choice feels good, but no evil is involved. These decisions are often complicated by their place at the hardest times or our lives. Do we take heroic measures to save someone who is clearly suffering or do we let them go? Do we step in to help someone who has made a bad choice or do we let them face the consequences? These decisions have difficult ramifications either way.

Oddly enough the answer to these decisions is similar to the best kind of hard decision, the decision between two good things. Neither way is a wrong way, at least in the sense that it is sinful. Both could be honoring to God. The only question is what is the best choice, the most God honoring choice, the best path for you to take? The difficulty here is that it could kind of go either way. In these situations, similar to the choice where neither choice is appealing, the real need is discernment. We need a power greater than our own. We need to seek the One who knows the path that is right and best. These decisions are among the hardest we face. The good news is we don’t have to face them alone. Pray, and have others pray for you and seek God’s wisdom… His discernment.

In times of decision, in times of uncertainty, one thing is for certain… God knows what to do. Ask Him then follow Him.

It’s not rocket science…

Seriously, we all seem to act as if it’s so hard to find out. Oh maybe the specifics are. Maybe the long range goal is hard to find or the way there is hard to achieve, but when it comes to day to day life, it’s pretty simple. Look at what’s coming next and do the next right thing.

Incidentally, that is also the way to reach your goal. Look at the opportunity, ask if it will help to take you where God wants you to go and if it is…


Ephesians 5:15 and 16 says: Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.