Lesson on Discernment

Discernment: A power to see what is not evident to the average mind. Discernment stresses accuracy as in reading character and motives.


Discrimination: Stressed power to distinguish or select the excellent, the true

Perception: Direct acquaintance with anything through the senses. An immediate or intuitive cognition or judgment

Insight: Keen discernment or understanding. Immediate apprehension or cognition

Verses Regarding Discernment:

  1. Proverbs 16:21
  2. Isaiah 27:11
  3. Philippians 1:9-11

Breaking it down:

Paul’s prayer- “That you will overflow with love, knowledge, discernment, insight.”

Why? “So that you will always see clearly the difference between right and wrong and to be inwardly clean.”

Also: “That we will be filled with the fruits of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ.”

Hebrews 5:14 RSV “But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their faculties trained by practice to distinguish good from evil.”

Hebrews 5:14 Living “You will never be able to eat solid spiritual food and understand the deeper things of God’s word until you become Christians and learn right from wrong by practicing doing right.”

The main thought seems to be: Distinguishing good from evil is the same as discernment. Also, that until we are able to distinguish good from evil, or have discernment, we will not be able to eat the solid food of a mature Christian. Until we “train our faculties” and “learn right from wrong by practicing doing right” we will never obtain discernment.

It appears as though the Lord is saying:

  1. We need to train and practice by asking the Lord to show us and reveal the difference between good and evil.
  2. As we listen and follow his direction, it will become easier to discern the difference
  3. Little by little as we practice “doing right” it will be easier to “discern” what is the good and right thing to do in the next situation placed before us.

Consider Phil 4:8,9 “Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.”

May we, with God’s help become wise and discerning children of God. Amen.