THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18
“But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”
Hebrews 5:14 ESV
JESUS WANTS TO GROW MY LIVING
Some time ago, a small east coast community was struggling financially, so they called an open town meeting to discuss the problem. A couple dozen people were there, including a stranger that no one seemed to know. Most assumed he was a tourist who had just dropped in on the meeting. He started to make a comment when various ideas were offered, but he was interrupted, so he just kept quiet for the rest of the meeting and ended up leaving early. Just as the stranger left, a late arriving resident came in and asked with excitement, “What was HE doing here? Is he going to help us?” The others said, “Who are you talking about? Who was that man?” The latecomer replied, “You mean you don’t know? That was John D. Rockefeller. His yacht is in our harbor. Didn’t you get his help?” Now, John D. Rockefeller happened to be one of the richest men in the world at the time. So someone cried out in despair, “No, we didn’t get his help, because we didn’t know who he was.” (Paul Lee Tan)
We teach children not to talk to strangers because they are often too immature to discern the difference between helpful strangers and harmful strangers. Discernment in Hebrews 5 is the spiritual life skill that enables us to distinguish between that which is spiritually helpful and that which is spiritually harmful. It’s a spiritual skill that comes with Christian maturity. The author of Hebrews teaches that growing Christians have been trained and practice making these distinctions.
Joe Stowell wrote, “We must be prepared to distinguish light from darkness, truth from error, best from better, righteousness from unrighteousness, purity from defilement, and principles from pragmatics.” Discernment grows with studying and practicing what’s good. What are some self-destructive or self-defeating decisions you have struggled to avoid in the past? What are some spiritually life giving decisions you are currently making to grow in your relationship with Christ? Ask God to grow your ability to know the difference and to make the choices that are good and life giving.