I have seen several people, in talking about this new year that we are in, talk about how they have a Word for this year. There have been some pretty good words that people have picked. I’ve been impressed.
I have never had a Word for a year, something that I am focusing on, an area I am hoping to grow in. I decided that I wanted to get a Word too. The one that came almost immediately to mind was “Discernment”. And since January 1st, I have been thinking more and more that this is the exact right Word for me.
the ability to judge well.
As I read the news, watch the conversations on social media, listen to the people around me, I am overwhelmed with how desperate I am for good discernment. The ability to sift the wheat from the chaff. To be able to tell truth from fiction. Wisdom. I need this. Desperately.
As a Christian, I do have some direction on how to get this discernment that I need. In the book of James, God comes right out and says, If you lack wisdom, just ask me, and I’ll give it to you. (Just make sure you are asking in faith, not doubt.) (James 1:5). Jesus also says, “I am the way and the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father if not by me.” (John 14:6). Jesus is truth. If I am wanting to know what the truth is, it would make sense that I spend as much time as possible with THE TRUTH.
My Dad often told a story when I was young about a goldsmith who gives only one job to his new apprentice. He must sit all day and hold a piece of gold in his hand. After weeks of this, the apprentice complains, he wants to learn how to work with the gold and make beautiful things. The goldsmith nods, throws a piece of gold to the apprentice and tells him he can make something with that piece of gold. The apprentice catches the gold in his hand and then exclaims, Hey! This isn’t real gold! The moral of the story being that if you want to tell the difference between real and counterfeit, you have to devote your time to knowing the Real.
I have been thinking about that story this January as I have sought after discernment. If I truly want to know truth, to have discernment, wisdom, then I need to be spending as much time as I can with the Original Truth. Wisdom Incarnate.
The more time you spend with the Real, the more obvious the counterfeit is.
We are living in a time when we are being bombarded by everyone’s version of “truth”. And people are angry when others do not agree with them. When someone else pulls out a different theory and says, No, this is really what’s true. It is a shaky, uncertain place where you no longer know who is speaking the truth and who is lying and who is just speaking in ignorance. I, personally, just want it to all go away. I want peace. But, there is a niggling inside of me that says, one day I’m going to have to make a stand. There will come a time when neutrality is no longer an option. And when that time comes, I want to be standing on the side of truth. And in order to do that, I need discernment. And in order to get that, I need Jesus.