The life or death of discernment!
By Pastor Doug Cox
(6 minute read)
Proverbs 2:1-5 says “My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding, yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.” Discernment is the act or process of exhibiting keen insight and good judgment. We are definitely living in a time where crying out to God for discernment should be a priority.
Discernment shouldn’t be brushed aside as irrelevant. It is naïve to think life would be easy if we let everyone do what they want. Can you imagine a world where everybody gets to do whatever they want? If you can, you have no discernment. Consequences accompany every action, and sometimes those consequences are not good.
I am going to say some things in this article that have to do with politics. Because politics affect everyone we shouldn’t veer away. We must understand the less influence a Christian has in the political scene the more influence the anti-Christian has, and where does that leave the Christian? We must consider what silence has done for us. In the past it didn’t seem like a big deal to stop prayer in public schools and demand that Bibles were left at home or that a few people had an abortion? Now we have transgender females crushing natural born female opponents in wrestling matches and males identifying as females winning scholarships in other sporting events. We have botched abortions leaving surviving babies on the table to die. We have people being demonized for being white by major corporations. Coca Cola’s 2020 slogan, “Together Tastes Better” no longer applies.
We recently had the career politician Joe Biden launching his campaign on a lie. He demonized Donald Trump using seven words out of a long speech Trump made concerning Charlottesville. Biden said, “when I saw those people coming out of the fields on Charlottesville shouting hate, a young woman killed. And when asked, the president said that there are good people on both sides. That’s literally why I ran. There’s no more important and heartfelt effort on my part than restoring, restoring the independence and integrity of our justice department.” Joe took seven words out of a many hundred word response and defamed the former president. He left out the fact that Trump did condemn those responsible. Whether Joe knew the whole story or not his campaign for the presidency was started on a lie.
Getting the truth is hard anymore. Out of curiosity I did an internet search on a couple of major news sites who claimed to have the full transcript of Trump’s words. After comparing them side by side I found they both lacked information. Both were missing important elements. Hmmmm. That makes it hard to know what really happened and it’s obvious, that was the idea. Here is what the everyday person needs to understand. Political parties and big corporations want us to let them do our thinking for us.
So we have a dilemma. Our current President, (and I pray for him) either chose to ignore all that Trump said then twist it, or was ignorant of what was in the speech. Either way, his actions reflect the lack of character and discernment the most powerful man on earth should have and there will be consequences, because truth withheld, truth ignored and truth undiscovered all have consequences. Proverbs 15:21 says “Folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment, but a man of understanding walks uprightly.” An upright man would want all the facts, a foolishness man with lack of insight ignores them. The fool is happy to think he has gotten away with something, brushing aside the thought of adverse consequences knowing his actions will be easily covered over by his friends.
This leads me to the scary part. It is foolish to think the United States cannot become vulnerable to other world powers. China is a deadly enemy that is expanding territory, its army and weapons. Why? They want to take us down. Befriending China shows a lack of discernment. They and other countries like Iran are looking for the right opportunity to strike. A leader with no discernment and a dishonest news media that covers for a fool makes us vulnerable. They will have no power when the real enemy strikes.
You can doubt me about what I have just said, and that’s ok, but let’s make another observation. The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 1:9. “and this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment.” Knowledge and discernment are the fertile field for abounding love. Hatred and confusion have a root springing from the fields of people lacking discernment. Because the righteous have been complacent, compromised and silent. The result? Cancel culture has become malignant. Love is fading fast. We’ve lived too long on a faulty diet of manipulation and partial stories spread by people who love money and position, not truth. We have taken the bait of promised perks and lying politicians. Now it’s time to stand with boldness and do like Proverbs says. “Incline our ears to wisdom and apply our hearts to understanding and yes, cry out for discernment. …seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.” If we all will act on what God says, then maybe, just maybe, discernment and society won’t die.