If we are going to be mature women of God, we must develop discernment—the practice of knowing and doing what is good (Hebrews 5:14). Discernment between:
- Good and evil
- True and false
- Who we follow
Good and Evil “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1: 9-11 (ESV)
Jesus is Lord, no matter what the cost. He cares about justice so we need to care about justice. That includes economic justice—even if it means giving up privilege; even if it means we interrupt our ever-increasing standard of living.
True and False “Test everything, hold fast to what is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21 (NRSV)
There are three areas to consider here:
- Information: Check the source. Is it dependable? Preferably with some oversight—like a newspaper, or TV station—rather than a random person on YouTube or FaceBook. Look for support. Do they state where their facts/stats come from? Don’t let unsupported statements influence you.
- Attitude: Jesus said all commands are fulfilled in love. Are we affirming, sharing—or worse yet—posting things that are unloving or critical? Are they vengeful? (There is a great temptation to “get back at others” or “put them in their place via social media.)
- Does this line up with godly priorities? I fear it is modern-day idolatry to be willing to sacrifice integrity for power; to make money more important than people; to remain silent about injustice to soothe our fear of disorder. Oppression is repulsive to God whose very nature is righteous. Here is just a small sample of what he says about it: Isaiah 10:1–2; Zechariah 7:10; Amos 2:6, 5:11; Micah 2:1–3; Jeremiah 22:3; Matthew 25:34–39).
Who we follow
Over the years, I have been dismayed at how often churches seem to lack wisdom in how they choose their leaders. Whether in Canada or Africa, I’ve seen wonderful (but naïve) people choose leaders who were good talkers (but clearly self-promoters of questionable character) over godly people who would have protected them.
Whether it is ethics, truth or leadership, our choices reveal what is truly important to us. Maturity chooses the truth—even if it’s uncomfortable. Maturity chooses integrity—even if it is costly. Maturity chooses leaders wisely.