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Tag Archive | "Discernment"

Things can become clear


Pastor Dallas Burgeson

The Springs Church

135 N. Grant St, Cedar Springs


You know what’s reallyhard a lot of days? Discernment. What is right and wrong in some of the situations we find ourselves in?

You know why discernment is so hard? There are probably many reasons, but here are just a couple:

First, good luck finding any person who always does right and never does wrong. Check out Romans 3:10 on this. We can’t trust one single person to always do the right thing! Aleksandr Sozhenitsyn, the famous author who endured terrible things in Communist Russia, tells us that “the line between good and evil is never simply between ‘us’ and ‘them.’ The line between good and evil runs through each one of us.”* 

Second, you and I often tend to think we already know what’s right and wrong in mostsituations. Because of this, we don’t generally build any “feedback loops” or “checks and balances” into our lives that would teach us to recognize opportunities to change our minds about any number of things. 

Which brings up the question: Do we really want to know what’s right or wrong? If so, there is hope, but also a challenge. The Bible, which in many ways is the basis of our discernment, is a still pretty large and challenging book to find simple, Google-style “answers” for the kinds of questions with which life seems to regularly confront us. But read it–you’ll get there. Work at it. Ask for help. Few things in life are more worth your time and energy.

But for today, let me offer this: The prophet Micah wrote the bible book that bears his name when things in his world were at least as confusing as ours are. He writes to a group of people who had a background of seeing God do some amazing things for them. Because there was this history, God used Micah to create a feedback loop for these people—a way that He could give them clarity in their fog.

Here’s the catch, though. God has some things to say in Micah chapter 6 that they’re not going to want to hear. It starts with reminding them of all the ways that He had looked out for them in their history. They would’ve recognized these old stories immediately, and would’ve then realized that they had forgotten God. Then, Micah asks a very important question: 

“What can we bring to the Lord [because of all this]? …the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” 

Reading Micah’s seven chapters will begin to show you what God calls right, merciful, and humble. The 10 Commandments in Exodus 20 and the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 will, too. 

Things can become clear. Just don’t forget Him.

*See p. 38 of N.T. Wright’s Evil And The Justice Of God, IVP, 2006.

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