1 Corinthians 2:14. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
DISCERNMENT, n. The act of discerning; also, the power or faculty of the mind, by which it distinguishes one thing from another, as truth from falsehood, virtue from vice; acuteness of judgment; power of perceiving differences of things or ideas, and their relations and tendencies. The errors of youth often proceed from the want of discernment. – Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
Spiritual discernment is something that is sadly lacking in today’s Christians. They have no power or ability to perceive differences between truth and error. You do not get spiritual discernment by hanging out on Facebook or watching the evening news. Spiritual discernment only comes by putting down the old man and letting the Spirit of God work through the Word of God in your heart and mind. The natural man is always going make bad decisions. He is easily deceived into thinking that something is good when it is really bad. The bad part is that average Christians, that should know better, are making terrible decisions. They have lost their discernment. They have lost their ability to reason spiritually.
The average carnal Christian today has no ability to see when they are deceived. They think the things of God are foolishness and they have “good” bible answers to “prove” they are right. They twist and wrest the Word of God to justify their foolish living. They are resting on the natural man and his reasoning. They have natural discernment, but not spiritual discernment. The natural man has his own set of rules and his own set of “moral” standards. The natural man makes up his own ideas of what is right and wrong based on his god — the god of this world. A Christian should never let the natural man make decisions in his life. He should have the ability to see when the natural man’s reasoning has taken over his thought processes and let the spiritual man get back in his right place and lead.
It is so important that we flood our heart and mind with the Word of God and good preaching so that we can make wise, spiritual decisions in everything that crosses our path in life. You need to seek the Lord in everything you do, every decision you make. Reading good books that will teach you practical Christianity will help you make better decisions. The old Puritans were some of the most practical Christians that have walked the face of the earth. They were concerned about making spiritual decisions in every aspect of their lives. That is the way we should live.
The Errors of Youth
As Noah Webster states above, “The errors of youth often proceed from the want of discernment.” Many of the young people in church make bad decisions because they do not acquire good, spiritual discernment at an early age. When that happens, they get out in sin, like the prodigal, and may never make it back to where their parents are at. It is so important for young adults to grow and have a practical knowledge of the Word of God as they apply it to their lives. Just because you turn 18, that does not mean you do not need your parent’s advice anymore. You probably need more advice now that you are facing tougher questions of life, than you did at eight. Discernment is learned through practical application of God’s Word. It is not something the Christian gets the moment he gets saved. Young people need to learn to acquire the skill. If you can, it will get you through life and produce a life worthy of a “well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
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