GodReflection: Power Words
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ- – -” (Message from Paul, an apostle)
I know people whom I jokingly accuse of having the ability to walk through an international airport and acquire a language.
However, my elementary and middle school Spanish, my “D” in Hebrew, my four or five semesters of “C’s” in Greek, and my lifelong learning of Portuguese has made me appreciate the uniqueness of words.
In thinking about boundary words that I identify to power my walk on earth, discernment flashes brightly in my vocabulary. It is unique in meaning. It is a word without an exact synonym.
To discern is to be aware. It is to be able to tell the difference in the true and the false. Discernment implies the acquired ability to recognize, perceive, detect, notice, and understand. To hold onto discernment as a power word in life has eternal implications.
I find it unsettling how little I use discern in my speech and how infrequently I hear the word used by others. Could it be it is a word whose power is in its practice rather than in it articulation?
In Scripture Joseph first uses discernment as a quality Pharaoh should seek in looking for a manager of Egypt. In Moses last song for Israel, he includes this line: They are a nation without sense; there is no discernment in them.
Discernment was the only request on the heart and lips of Solomon in his prayer to God after the inheritance of kingship from his father David. God honored that discernment request by granting him the gift of wisdom in a portion never before or after experienced by humankind.
It is no coincidence to find discernment use more frequently throughout the Wisdom Literature than any other place in Scripture. A wise person is a good discerner.
Ok, here is what I think.
An untold number of messages confront me from the time I awaken of a morning until I am in deep sleep on my pillow at night.
These messages come from everyone I encounter. They come from my television, radio, and computer. They come from my church. They come from friend and foe. Messages come from books, magazines, newspapers.
I hear lies sold as truth and truth sold as lies. I see darkness passed off as light and light passed over by the arrogant.
Messages come from God and messages come from Satan. How am I to know the difference? How am I to sort through my daily assault from the visual and the verbal?
My power word for this task is discernment.
Discernment is a God recipe formed from prayer, humility, and living in Scripture. To learn how to discern comes through companionship with Jesus while listening to his spirit. Reflection also plays a key role. Reflection brings together the message of Scripture, prayer, the example of Jesus and the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
True to Jesus’ teaching discernment will come to those with open eyes, ears, and heart. I want to become more discerning every day as I journey through life.
Discernment is a rather important power word–don’t you think?
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells – A GodReflection on the power word discernment.