“Discernment is not a matter of simply telling the difference between what is right and wrong; rather, it is the difference between right and almost right”  (from Charles Spurgeon, as quoted from Tim Challies’ book, The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment)

I believe that it is doubtless true that discernment, spiritual discernment that is, is very difficult to acquire, much less to cultivate. When we read and observe all the various and sundry books, pamphlets, literature, etc., that is pumped out for the Christian populace, we are confronted with an immense amount of discerning to exercise. This is indeed a reason perhaps for the vast majority’s lack of desire to engage. However, we need to remember that the Bible is replete with commands to discern and to be discerning children. This truth we cannot escape! Therefore, how can we overcome the dearth of discernment in the church? How can we become discerning sons and daughters? May I suggest a few principles that will help you acknowledge, and then maybe, put you on the right path:   1). Acknowledge humbly, submissively, wholeheartedly, and fully the saturated passages that command us to be discerning: 1 Thes. 5:21-22, 1 John 4:1-6, 2 Tim 1:14, 1 Kings 3:9. 2). Acknowledge that as a Christian, you have a built-in lie detector that prods and enables you to separate between good and evil, and therefore expose evil: 1 John 2:20, 27. 3). Acknowledge that discernment is a skill and that it needs to be cultivated: Hebrews 5:11-14. 4). Acknowledge that practicing discernment helps you preserve the truth: 1 Thes 5:21-22. 5). Lastly, acknowledge that the more discerning you are gives you a better understanding of the Doctrine of God and avoids falsity and false doctrine that leads to aberrant applications and practice: 1 Timothy 4:16. These principles should get you started. However, the truth is that the more you read and study God’s Word, the more the knowledge gleaned will help you to spot a counterfeit. The statement above from Charles Spurgeon only accentuates or underscores the difficulty associated with being discerning. For this reason, a solid grasp of biblical doctrines and theology cannot be relegated to the field of academics. God has called every Christian, and the church as a whole, to be discerning. Let us be stimulated to preserve truth and be reminded of the great truth of1 Timothy 3:15, which says that the church is “the pillar and support of the truth.”