Discernment vs. Suspicion

So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight-why the bush does not burn up." Exodus 3:3 NIV

And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David. 1 Samuel 18:9 NIV

Discernment is extremely valuable to a Christian. So valuable, in fact, that God made it one of the Gifts of the Spirit. While not everyone is given the Spiritual Gift of Discernment, we all have a level of human discernment and it can be developed even further.

The problem is, sometimes we label suspicion with the pious name of discernment and think we're being super spiritual. So it's important to learn the difference between discernment and suspicion. The difference is quite simple. Discernment will recognize evil for what it is. Suspicion will imagine evil when there is none.

When Moses saw the bush burning on the mountainside, he said, "I must turn aside now, and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up." He was genuinely curious and wanted to go see what was going on. He didn't imagine all sorts of evil lurking near that bush. He merely saw the bush and went to see what was up. In the alternative, Saul was suspicious of David, letting his imagination run wild. He imagined evil motives when there were none.

I know a young man who has been blessed with a beautiful young woman in his life. She is warm, caring, a hard worker, dedicated to Jesus, and devoted to the young man. But he is unable to relax and enjoy the blessings God is pouring upon him through this young woman. Instead, he is suspicious of her every move, wondering what is really motivating her to be so nice to him! If he doesn't let go of his suspicions soon, he could lose the relationship.

You and I can be guilty of the same thing - letting imagination take over when discernment and wisdom should rule. Suspicion destroys relationships... it destroys lives. When we are constantly suspicious of the motives of others, we drive people away that could be great blessings to us. Check your life today... are you discerning... or merely suspicious?

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ - to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11 NIV

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