Discerning the Good God Stuff
In our women’s group this week, we looked at counterfeit light, in contrast to Jesus being the Light of the world. To determine what is truly light, the God, genuine light as opposed to darkness disguising as light, (that’s a mouth full) we must hold it up to the light of God’s Word. “The unfolding of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.” (Psalm 119:130)
The first thing that came to mind for me is when a banker holds up a $100 dollar bill, they hold it up to the light, having the ability to see through it, see if the distinguishing markings are present. If they are not, then it is deemed counterfeit. So it is with us, holding something up to the light of God’s word helps us determine its genuineness, does it have ‘God markings’ or blemishes not designed to be present.
Paul speaks of this in his letter to the Philippians: “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” (1:9-11, emphasis mine) Discernment.
Preacher and theologian Charles Spurgeon said, “Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.” Oh boy! How many of us have opted to go with a-l-m-o-s-t right, thinking it is close enough. Nope. We are to abound in knowledge and discernment. With things and people we love, do we use discernment? Do we attempt to call it for what it is or white wash it and tag a name on it to better ease our conscience. (Oh, God help us!) We are called to rightly judge, to properly evaluate and wisely assess the value. Remember the ‘value’ chart is God’s. Does this thing-person-circumstance align with God’s chart (see chart on page 1 of the Bible and continues to Revelations.)
What is the opposite of sound discernment? To reason falsely, here’s the kicker (to ones backside) … to miss-think. For some of us, we not only miss the target in thinking, we neglected to set the target up, and in our laziness we failed to take true aim.
Paul goes on to say that due to our abounding in knowledge and ability to discern, approving good God stuff, we would be sincere. Sincere. It holds the most captivating imagery. Tradesmen of the day used this word often, when dealing with merchandise desired to be ‘genuine’. The literal meaning is ‘judged by sunlight.’ A customer seeking a genuine, ‘sincere’ sculpture would ask the merchant/artist to take the item out into the sunlight. If at one point the sculpture had been cracked or needed repairing, the artist would use wax fixing the repairs. The sunlight would indeed melt the wax, thus revealing the cracks or blemishes. If no cracks were seen, the item would be considered ‘sincere’.
Before we take off running with our new found item, mindset, relationship or circumstance, let’s hold’r up just a quick moment, lift it up to God’s word and check for genuineness, is it the real deal, good God stuff. If we have to, take it to a ‘filled with fruits of righteousness’ friend, have them hold it up, see what they see.
Discerning light from darkness.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)