My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,
2 So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;
3 Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
4 If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
5 Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;
8 He guards the paths of justice,
And preserves the way of His saints.
9 Then you will understand righteousness and justice,
Equity and every good path.
10 When wisdom enters your heart,
And knowledge is pleasant to your soul,
11 Discretion will preserve you;
Understanding will keep you, Proverbs 2:1-11
The above passage tells us that we should cry out for discernment and lift up our voice for understanding. This particular meaning of discernment is about having a more complete understanding and knowledge. Solomon writes that we should seek it as for silver or hidden treasure.
When was the last time that you sought discernment and understanding as if you were searching for silver or hidden treasure!? I know, I haven’t! Nowadays, people seek a lot of information, which may or may not be truthful. They may spend hours googling something to gain some knowledge about a particular subject. Some spend endless hours in getting advanced degrees as if they are searching for silver and a hidden treasure, but most of us don’t seek discernment with the same level of intensity, diligence, and desperation.
Sometimes, in the body of Christ, we see discernment as a spiritual gift that some people are gifted with. It’s as if it is a nice thing to have, but we don’t treat it as a necessity that every believer should desperately seek and pray for. In reality, the darker and the noisier the world gets, the more discernment we need to navigate through all the trappings around us. We need discernment from the Lord to know what we should take seriously and what to ignore and not let it consume us.
According to the above scripture, the by-product of discernment and understanding is the fear of the Lord. Our reverence for the Lord will help us to see every situation through His lens of right and wrong. We will be able to distinguish between those things that the Lord cares about and the things that are worldly issues. The fear of the Lord gives us the wisdom to apply our knowledge correctly. According to the above passage, discernment and the fear of the Lord, will protect us and will give us insight into true justice and equity.
The Lord will also teach us discretion. True discernment and understanding will help us become more discrete. Many times discernment is seen as judging a situation outside of us, but the above passage teaches us that true discernment will teach us discretion. It will change us. It will help us to become self-controlled in areas where we were impulsive and felt the need to take action right away. Discretion will protect us and our relationships.
After learning about discernment and its great necessity for us, I plan to pray for discernment and understanding more fervently. Sometimes my prophetic bent has caused me to speak too soon, or I have handled a situation with more intensity and emotion than necessary. I want to learn to be more discrete and refrain from acting on something that I have not been directed to act, or it’s not mine to address.
In the above passage, Solomon is telling us that our desire for discernment and understanding cannot be a causal desire, but a desperate need that seeks out the Lord and continues to pray for it. Having true discernment and understanding is priceless in the life of a believer, and we should desperately seek it out and ask the Lord for it.