Pastor's Piece - The Gift of Discernment
by Dr Alex Currie
The Gift of Discernment
If you had the occasion of asking for anything you wanted, for what would you ask? Would it be money? Perhaps the perfect job! Maybe its tickets to the London Olympics. Perhaps its longevity you need, because your health is not the best. Has anyone ever come into your life to grant you all your wishes?
King Solomon dreamt and was asked by God to request anything he wanted. If you had been Solomon for what would you have asked? He could have asked for anything, including longevity, riches, or security. But he asked for 'a discerning heart' so as to govern and rule with distinction and know the difference between right and wrong. Read the story in 1 Kings 3:4-10. He needed tools with which to be a good king because he carried emotional baggage from his family of origin that he knew could do damage.
In all relationships we need discernment. We require boundaries to protect. Discernment helps us understand why boundaries are important. We need discernment in all aspects of life, particularly when it comes to family life and relationships with others. The success or failure in relationships and marriages cries for discerning wisdom.
Discernment is required by all on the planet. Take the world of information. Hal Varian and Peter Lyman of the Berkeley University, California, calculated that new information in the year 2000AD had reached 1.5 exabytes. That is approximately 37,000 times more information than the American Library of Congress held that year. Mind you, that was for only one year! Three years later the figure had escalated to 3.5 exabytes which is a 66% growth factor of new knowledge in a single year. Add onto that the 600% sales of iPods in one year with all the knowledge which they have the potential of transporting.
As Christians we need discernment as to what to read and what not to read. We need discernment to choose what is best to read because our choices are the hinges to our destiny. There is so much rubbish, gossip and fictional material that we may not have time to read what is uplifting, enlightening and beneficial. Paul established a great principle when he wrote in Philippians 4:8 'whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."
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