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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Perceiving Differences

There is one ability that separates the simple and the fool from the wise; that separates the immature from the mature. That ability is the ability to perceive differences: the ability to discern. It is ability to perceive a thing and perceive the differences between it and other things.

 the mature ... have their senses trained to discern good and evil. (Hebrews 5:14)

One of the most important things we may discern is the difference between what is real and what is not. Reality is beings, things, places, powers, processes, authorities, events, and the state of things. Being able to perceive the powers and processes that produce beneficial results and those that produce harmful results help us align our lives.

Another of the most important things we may discern is the difference between truth and error: between accurate and sufficiently complete descriptions of things that are real and descriptions that are not accurate or sufficiently complete.

Other important things we may discern are the differences between what is reliable and what is not; what contributes to shalom and what hinders it.

Still another thing to discern is the nature of our own being: whether the nature of our being is beneficial to us and others, or is harmful. We need to perceive the powers and processes that work to change the nature of our being and align our lives with those that make us reliable contributors to truth and shalom and align our lives against those that make us hinderers.

How does one gain the ability to perceive differences?

Perceiving things and perceiving differences between them is not an ability we have or can obtain. It is an ability that God has. We can be partakers of his ability by seeking his guidance and submitting ourselves to follow his guidance. When we do this he leads us in a way that reveals things and the differences between things to us.

How does one discern?

We:


  • Ask God to send the Spirit of Truth to guide us into all the truth of the thing we are attempting to discern.
  • Make a sufficiently thorough investigation, following the guiding of the Spirit
  • Test, weigh, and compare as the Spirit guides


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