Learning to Discern

A father who had three sons wanted to teach them a lesson in discretion. He gave each of them an apple that had a rotten part in it.
The first ate his apple, rotten and all. The second threw all of his away because some of it was rotten. The third picked out the rotten part and ate the good part.
Life is like these apples. Parts of life are truly rotten, while other parts are truly good. The thing we need most in life is ability to see which is which, to avoid the evil and to embrace the good (1 Thessalonians 5:21,22).
The Hebrew writer distinguishes the babe from the fully grown person this way: “For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil” (Hebrews 5:13,14).
The difference between a babe in Christ and the matured person is found in his ability by practice to discern between the good and the evil, what will help and what will harm.
Many people stumble through life accepting whatever they find. They eat the ideas of men without ever thinking whether they are rotten (Colossians 2:6-8).
Others reject anything and everything. Living with fear and some paranoia, they spend their lives in retreat and seclusion. They miss the good they could have had out of fear of what “might” happen.
God’s people learn to discern between the good and the rotten. They use a knife to cut out and throw away what is harmful, so that they might taste what is good. Like the angels in judgment, they separate the good from the bad (Matthew 13:47-49). We too must cast aside sin and embrace what God has given to us.
“Every plant which my Father has not planted shall be rooted up” (Matthew 15:13). Let us look to the Father, from whom every “good” thing comes (James 1:17).

One Reply to “Learning to Discern”

  1. The discernment that comes with maturity is most effective when it is exercised before the evil becomes obvious…..it may even have some appeal. This is the time to minimize or avoid undesirable consequences.
    Change agents at work among us cannot or will not see it…. so it is up to those who can see it to be on guard.

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