There is a single tool that is exceedingly more important than any other in the life of the fruitful Christian. Those who have studied and learned how to use it effectively have been wildly successful in their lives while those who did not adequately appreciate it, often failed miserably. The significance of this often underappreciated and undervalued item cannot be overstated. History reveals that even individuals who were exceptionally skilled with this life altering implement often lost everything when they neglected it.
Many might suppose that the topic is about prayer, faith, or love, but it is not. Prayer is not a tool it is a vital part of our life. It is to the spiritual man what breathing is to the natural one. We can’t live a spiritual life without prayer. Faith is also crucial, but it is not a tool either. Faith is our mindset, our core understanding of God. It is to our spirit person what thoughts are to our mind. It’s how we navigate life. As important as love is, it is not a tool either. It is the supernatural expression of a grateful life. When we truly know God, love is the beat of our heart.
So what is the single-most-important tool in the Christian life?
“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.” (Philippians 1:9-11 NKJV)
The most important tool for the disciple of Christ is discernment.
While discernment has often been sensationalized by people teaching spiritual gifts, the biblical definition is actually very simple. Discernment is distinguishing between right and wrong. It is paired with another important tool, discretion. Discretion is choosing the right and avoiding the wrong.
Forgive me if I am being overly simplistic today, but sometimes we just need to get back to the basics. It really doesn’t matter how well you sing, dance, prophecy or preach if you don’t know the difference between right and wrong.
How do we learn discernment? I have heard that when banks train their employees how to detect counterfeit bills, they don’t spend a lot of time talking about all the counterfeiting techniques or what constitutes a counterfeit bill. Instead they study what makes a real one. The employees get to know the real thing so well, that when the fake is in front of them, they easily detect it.
We learn discernment as we learn God. What makes Him happy? What makes Him weep? By studying carefully and hiding His Word in our heart, it will be obvious when we come across the counterfeit.
Father help us discern between right and wrong and give us the power to choose the right. Amen!