Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
The path to life is “narrow, ” and few, Jesus says, there be that find it. But there are many who find the broad way that leads to death. Jesus is the only Way to The Father. There are numerous false religions and false christs in the world, and godly discernment is needed to know which is the way of life.
In its simplest definition, discernment is nothing more than the ability to decide between truth and error, right and wrong. Discernment is the process of making careful distinctions in our thinking about truth. In other words, the ability to think with discernment is synonymous with an ability to think biblically.
In general, discernment is accurately evaluating ourselves, people, and situations. We discern things correctly by having a sound perception of what is true, right, and essential.
Dictionary.com defines discernment as “the faculty of discerning, discrimination, acuteness of judgment and understanding.”
Discernment in the Bible
1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 teaches that it is the responsibility of every Christian to be discerning: “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.”
The apostle John issues a similar warning when he says, “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). According to the New Testament, discernment is not optional for the believer, it is required.
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ ~ Philippians 1:9-10
But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. ~ Hebrews 5:14
To discern is to understand what is good and what is evil. Apostle Paul instructs that those of spiritual maturity should be able to “have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Heb 5:13). What are the good things in your life you can cultivate? What evil things in your life do you need to prune back? Lent is the perfect season to tend to your spiritual garden.
And we pray:
O Lord Jesus, the world would tell us there are “many paths to God,” but we know that You are the only path to God. We have life from You that the world knows nothing of, and that life is a light that shines in the darkness. Father, Your Word and Your Son are the true light, and that light is in us, Amen. Keep us, we pray, on that narrow way. Guide us each step until we end our journey and enter our eternal rest. Amen.