A Study on Discernment

[This is our final post for this series. I apologize for the lateness of the post, it was a very difficult one for me to write knowing there is a chance that it could offend some of you. Please know that is never my intent; my only intent is to enlighten, educate, and encourage you in God’s precious, holy Word.]

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

What was your answer? I hope you answered “it’s not scripture”. The image above is a compilation from the writings of Sarah Young. She is a highly popular and well known author among Christian women. I am sad to say she is only one of many, each with dozens of books, all filled with pretty, feel good, warm and fuzzy promises, all claiming their words are spoken by God Himself.

The problem? The words they write are their own words presented as God’s. I don’t deny that some of what they write sometimes reflects the nature of our loving God. At times these writers even throw in some scripture but most of the time it is scripture taken out of context, misapplied to fit whatever point the writer wants to make. That’s what makes their writings so dangerous.

Points to Ponder

  • Why do we rush to these books?
  • What makes them so appealing?
  • What is it that we are looking for?

Something to Think About

Remember a few days ago we looked at 2 Timothy 3:16-17? “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work”. You see, Paul is telling us that the Bible is inspired by God and is adequate – the Bible gives us all we need.

I would also ask that you consider the words of John in Revelation 22:18: “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book”. God has given these same warnings elsewhere in scripture. (See Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32, Proverbs 30:6).

Final Thoughts

For the past month we have given our attention to the exhortations from God’s word for the necessity of discernment. As we end this series, I hope you don’t mind that I have offered up some specific cautions; some meat if you will, for you to chew on. It is my earnest hope and prayer that through this study you have grown in awareness and have come to realize the seriousness of our need for discernment; I know I have.

I have focused today’s lesson on the work of one writer. Let me say this. Outside of the Canon of Scripture, all writers, including and especially me, are human and as such are going to make mistakes. However, what I have presented to you today is not “human error”, it is a deliberate, self-serving pattern of false teaching and we are surrounded by it.

With all that said, it really doesn’t matter the motive or intent of the writer (or a speaker, counselor, or preacher for that matter) it is critical that we test EVERY WORD against Scripture.

May God richly bless you as you continuously search His Word for truth. To Him be all glory, honor, and praise.

©2022 Sandra Bivens Smith

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