Good and Evil (Photo credit: WELS.net)
In every aspect of our life, when making life-changing decisions, it will require the ability to use good, sound judgment.
Using good judgment will require a healthy state of mind and a willingness on our part to think through issues that will end in positive results. This in turn will allow us to make choices based on what is right and oftentimes prompt us to evaluate the consequence that will be associated with the event.
When we are young, we make rash decisions based on thoughts before considering consequences of our actions. As we grow older, we still may incorporate the same process but will find after numerous failures, we come to the conclusion that if we “should of, could of, would of”, maybe it would have turned out differently. With an afterthought, when faced with idle time to think, “I wish I would have chosen to do it differently.”
Oftentimes, I wonder why is it, when we fail to use sound judgment and suffer because of choices we make, we choose to blame the world for our mistakes. Instead of making a conscious decision to look at ourselves before trouble sets upon us. Only to be held accountable for our actions while taking responsibility for what we’ve done.
I had to take a hard look at this before coming up with what I believe happens. And this is what I think:
When we think irrationally, what we think may look good on the outside will not be good or even feel good on the inside when faced with reality. Irrational thoughts provoke irrational behavior that oftentimes will produce severe consequences.
Yet I am a firm believer it doesn’t take rocket science to know the difference between good and bad, right and wrong. However, the most difficult part of distinguishing the difference is when your judgment is clouded by other forces of nature. Be it as the result of someone you may love and have placed as a priority in your life or a job or something of material value that will take precedence.
As such, we then find ourselves faced with consequences that may render us helpless. And we give control to others while being forced to think about what just happened. We pay a dear price.
With age comes maturity. As we mature, by experience, we gain the ability to discriminate between right and wrong. I call this discernment. We generally recognize truth from deception. And sometimes can be shaped by our limited perception. Spiritual discernment on the other hand is a gift from God. It is not flawed.
It’s not something that we acquire instantly. It takes time and experience along with hard work and dedication, constantly. It comes specifically from God. It allows us to understand that which is not visibly apparent and oftentimes can be hard. It gives us the ability to accurately perceive opposing spirits to determine what’s right and what’s wrong. It helps us choose the right course of action with the help of God.
To fully understand the gift of discernment is to be able to determine the process by which we will apply deductive reasoning when making decisions or weigh evidence that will produce answers in our best interest.
1 Corinthians 12:10 tells us discernment is a spiritual gift. Hebrews 5:14 teaches that it must be developed by constant practice. It is having the ability to be consistent with careful observation between good and bad people and things. We look for the “test” in everything.
But we must not judge based on what we see. We must have a clear conscious of that we don’t see. John 7:24 puts it precisely, “Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.” Judge based on reality.
In your mind, conceptualize things based on the element of what you are faced with. Logically consider alternatives and likely consequences. Weigh heavily potential risks when making hasty decisions. This will help clarify clouded judgment and wrong intentions. And will point you in the right direction in the end. And help you make the right decision to avoid losing it all in the end.
Be it general or spiritual, discover the gift of discernment. Make good, sound judgment. Use your gift wisely. Let the spirit lead and guide you. Reject impure thoughts that are evil in nature; coupled with actions that may deter you. Only to be caught up in a compromising situation you find yourself in. One you clearly may not have been in. Had you used good, sound judgment.
Words of wisdom are usually given by the wise. We mustn’t ignore them when refusing to swallow our foolish pride. God’s Word instructs us wisely. Listen. It is godly.
Humble yourself. Get it right. Use the gift of discernment to do what is right. Be clear. Ask yourself this with the life-changing event, “Why am I doing this?” “What results will come from it?” “Will it be pleasing in God’s sight?” And if the answer is no, then it isn’t right.
If it is yes, the answer will come readily. It won’t take much to differentiate. The right or wrong decision you choose to make. The decision that will ultimately change your life based on what you don’t see. And will be the right decision based on what you believe; God.
Look for the “test” in everything.
Be blessed! –JD
1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.”