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The Protective Power of Discernment

Spiritual discernment protects us from deception. Sin is always dressed up to look tempting.
Jan 02, 2007 06:38 PM EST

By Charles Stanley

2 Peter 3:14-18

Spiritual discernment protects us from deception. Sin is always dressed up to look tempting. So if we think that what looks good and feels right must be okay, then we're in danger of being misled. When Satan tempts us, he never mentions consequences or negative impacts.

Spiritual discernment is our God-given capacity to judge what is right and wrong. It protects us from the suffering that goes along with disobedience. Ignoring anxiety in our spirit—which Dr. Stanley calls "spiritual static"—is a step onto the pathway of sin.

When looking for a radio station, we want clear reception. The same is true in life. We need a clear connection to the Holy Spirit. It will give us a sense of peace and assurance that we're doing the right thing.

Sometimes an opportunity might appear harmless or, more likely, very appealing. But if the Holy Spirit inside us sends a signal not to pursue that opportunity, then we shouldn't. For some reason, God does not want us in the situation. And though we can wonder, we may never know what danger we avoided by being obedient.

Sin does not initially appear as the ugly, deceitful disobedience it is. Instead, it comes wrapped in a pretty package that can be hard to resist. God's children can see past the glitter and false beauty if they choose to look. This spiritual wisdom comes only as the result of a clean heart and discerning spirit. A smart believer makes prayer, repentance, and biblical training a regular part of his or her routine.

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