By Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield Editor, FaithInspires.Org
In today's world we are surrounded by more information, more often than any other time in history. The set of thinking skills we use to determine what is true or useful is called discernment. This set of thinking skills is more important in regards to our faith than any other part of our lives. Consider what the Bible says at Leviticus 10:10” “ And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean;” (KJV) So obviously if the Bible addresses it directly it is very important. Even as adults we can fall subject to what is called peer pressure. Our actions are sometimes ruled by our need to be popular. They of course should be guided by God's word instead. Look at what is said in Proverbs 21:2. “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.”(KJV) Everybody wants to feel independent, to be an original. But are these desires the best way to grow our faith ? Not in a vacuum they are not.
Navigators at sea always take care to consider error and deviation. Magnetic deviation has to do with the earth's magnetic field being different in different parts of the world. Error on the other hand has to do with every compass being different. In much the same way when we looking to guide our thinking and decisions, we need to make sure that the information we are using is accurate. We also need to make sure we are using the right information to get us where we want to go. Without God's word, and his leading through the Holy Spirit we lack a vital perspective in our decision making.
So how are we to make the right choices ? Psalm 119 verse 125 tells us, “I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies.” (KJV) So the obvious answer in this case is the right answer. If we want help correctly aligning our thinking with God's thinking we should ask him directly ! It may seem odd that we keep coming back to prayer. However we cannot overstate the importance of prayer and the connection to God that it feeds.
Often when people want to learn a new language they use what is called “immersion” training. How this works is they bring their new language into every part of their life. They literally surround themselves with what they are trying to learn. We as Christians are not trying to just learn a new language, but a whole new way of thinking and behaving. If that is true, why do we think we can get so much more done, with so much less effort ? After we pray for discernment we should surround ourselves with God's word. We should “immerse” ourselves in God's way of thinking to the point that our thoughts become one. 1 John 2:15-17 sums it up quite nicely. “ Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” So when you are looking for discernment to guide your decisions in life, make sure you are using the right “compass.” Always remember to the Christian the only compass needed is God's word prayerfully considered.
Read more from Rev. Crutchfield along with Christian News and Information at Faith That Inspires Action.