Developing Spiritual Discernment

Titus 1 This letter is from Paul, a servant owned by God, and a missionary of Jesus Christ. I have been sent to those God has chosen for Himself. I am to teach them the truth that leads to God-like living. This truth also gives hope of life that lasts forever. God promised this before the world began. He cannot lie. He made this known at the right time through His Word. God, the One Who saves, told me I should preach it. I am writing to you, Titus. You are my true son in the faith which we both have. May you have loving-favor and peace from God the Father and Jesus Christ, the One Who saves. I left you on the island of Crete so you could do some things that needed to be done. I asked you to choose church leaders in every city. Their lives must be so that no one can talk against them. They must have only one wife. Their children must be Christians and known to be good. They must obey their parents. They must not be wild. A church leader is God’s servant. His life must be so that no one can say anything against him. He should not try to please himself and not be quick to get angry over little things. He must not get drunk or want to fight. He must not always want more money for himself. He must like to take people into his home. He must love what is good. He must be able to think well and do all things in the right way. He must live a holy life and be the boss over his own desires. He must hold to the words of truth which he was taught. He must be able to teach the truth and show those who are against the truth that they are wrong. 10 There are many men who will not listen or will not obey the truth. Their teaching is foolish and they lead people to believe a lie. Some Jews believe their lies. 11 This must be stopped. It turns whole families from the truth. They teach these things to make money. 12 One of their own teachers said, “People of the island of Crete always lie. They are like wild animals. They are lazy. All they want to do is eat.” 13 This is true of them. Speak sharp words to them because it is true. Lead them in the right way so they will have strong faith. 14 Do not let them listen to Jewish stories made up by men. Do not let them listen to man-made rules which lead them away from the truth. 15 All things are pure to the man with a pure heart. But to sinful people nothing is pure. Both their minds and their hearts are bad. 16 They say they know God, but by the way they act, they show that they do not. They are sinful people. They will not obey and are of no use for any good work.

In our individualistic society, we may think we don’t need anyone’s help in making decisions, forming convictions, or distinguishing truth from error. But such self-reliance doesn’t lead to true wisdom and spiritual discernment. To know the Lord’s mind about a matter, we must rely on His Word. In the pages of Scripture, God has revealed who He is, how He works, and the way His followers are to deepen both their understanding and their relationship with Him.

God has also appointed leaders in the church to help us develop spiritual discernment. They do this by teaching sound doctrine and refuting any ideas that contradict Scripture. Under the instruction of these mature believers, we can grow in righteousness by learning biblical truths and then applying them.

Since every aspect of life is influenced by our capacity to make wise, godly judgments, it’s essential that we read the Bible and heed the instruction of our pastors. The truths we learn become a filter for everything we see, hear, and experience. Then, if we encounter error, our internal alarm will go off to protect us from deception.

We all need help when it comes to wisdom. So let’s ask the Lord today to guide us away from self-reliance and towards His holy Word.

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