Discernment: The Black, White, & Gray

“Teach me good discernment and knowledge, for I believe in Your commandments.”                     ~ Psalms 119:66, NASB

“Discernment is God’s call to intercession, never to faultfinding.” ~ Corrie ten Boom, author

“Some people think they have discernment when actually they are just suspicious…Suspicion comes from an unrenewed mind; discernment comes out of the renewed spirit.” ~ Joyce Meyer, Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind

“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, ‘When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land.”     ~ Jeremiah 23:5, NASB 
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INTRODUCTION
One of the most difficult aspects of life is to be able to discern right from wrong; making fruitful decisions from wise discernment. Theologian John MacArthur defines discernment as “the process of making careful distinctions in our thinking about truth.” The Merriam-Webster dictionary provides a similar definition, defining discernment as “the ability to see and understand people, things, or situations clearly and intelligently.” And Christians are called to be discerning: Continue reading

Commodifying Love

The greatest danger of copying culture, as a posture, is that it may well become all too successful. We end up creating an entire sub cultural world within which Christians comfortably move and have their being without ever encountering the broader cultural world they are imitating. We breed a generation that prefers facsimile to reality, simplicity to complexity (for cultural copying, almost by definition, ends up sanding off the rough and surprising edges of any cultural good it appropriates), and familiarity to novelty. Not only is this a generation incapable of genuine creative participation in the ongoing drama of human culture making, it is dangerously detached from a God who is anything but predictable and safe (Culture Making, p. 94).

2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect (Romans 12:2, NLT).

4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God (James 4:4, ESV).

INTRODUCTION
Recently, I have become sensitive to the fact that when I receive, or I overhear someone else receiving, relationship advice—whether solicited or freely given—there rarely seems to be a difference between what is provided by professed Christians and non-Christians. This is extremely concerning to me, because when I read scripture, it seems to suggest that “how” Christians engage in love and relationship distinguishes them from non-believers (John 13:35; 1 John 3:14; Luke 6:31, 35; Matthew 22:37-39). Continue reading

Unpacking Faith

The more I walk down the road of life, the more I become aware of how little I know. It is the unexpected elements that are assuredly present in every person’s life that guarantees such a realization for all but the totally ignorant or the innocently naïve. Socrates, a Greek philosopher who lived nearly five-hundred years before the birth of Christ, said it well when he said, “The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing.” Socrates did not know Christ; therefore, he was correct in what he said. He never knew the “Truth.” Continue reading