Do you feel like a passive participant in the media and information that comes your way? What is a Christian to make of the news and culture around them? Is there just too much to keep up with?
It sure seems that way.
But it doesn’t have to.
By learning to be more discerning, we can overcome drowning in poor quality information.
We can learn to mentally sort through the barrage of information and emerge with understanding.
What is discernment?
Discernment is simply the ability to judge well. It means you can analyze information and make an informed decision based on insight. It doesn’t mean you have all the answers, but it does mean you know how to decide if an answer you’ve been given is correct.
As a Christian, discernment means you have the ability to judge if something is of God or not.
This is crucial.
Imagine a scenario where you think God has spoken to you. How can you be sure? As Richard Peace notes in his new book, Noticing God,
“How do we know that it is God whom we are meeting and not just our fanciful imagination?”
This is incredibly important, perhaps now more than ever.
There are millions of networks and organizations vying for your attention, trying to tell you what’s important. As James Emery White has noted,
“Howard K. Smith, a news icon in a previous era, once quipped that the media may not tell you what to think, but they most certainly tell you what to think about.”
And that’s the case isn’t it?
But if we let our opinions be informed by various outlets in the world, we will end up mindless beings on our way to Hell. That might sound harsh, but I don’t think it’s untrue.
Accepting what we are given at face value would leave us thinking sex outside of marriage is acceptable, cheating at school and work is the status quo, and Los Angeles is the center of the universe. Just because these things are said over and over does not make them true. Especially not in God’s economy.
So what do we do?
Here are 5 ways you can be more discerning:
All of these will help you be a more discerning person.
The real challenge is laid down by John 13:17:
"Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them."
Will you work on becoming more discerning in your life?
CC Image • Mostafa Abdel Samie on Flickr