Discernment is, as Webster describes, the ability to judge well. The book of Proverbs is loaded with info helping us to do just that. Crack open your Bible there and you will see discernment written about in one way or another: “to KNOW wisdom and instruction;to PERCEIVE the words of understanding” (Prov.1:2). “To give subtlety to the simple, to the young man knowledge and DISCRETION” (1:4), etc. etc. etc. !!
Our church clerk recently came to me with a piece of paper written by a nurse asserting certain things that God would do if we “claimed the promises” in a certain psalm and we’d not have cancer, not have trials, not have anything negative in our life. Sign me up, lady !! However, and this is where our clerk was wise, she thought it was a little shaky ! She then asked for my “take” on it. Aren’t you glad you have God in your life once saved AND His Word?! Aren’t you glad that He gives to us through His Word the ability to sift truth from error?! I sure am, no telling what cult I may’ve wound up in otherwise.
About the time I was saved I recall Satan using several means to steer me away from the Bible. I recall Jehovah Witnesses coming to our home, and I remember a TV program about prophecy that I sooned learned was sponsored by Seventh Day Adventists. And I could give you other examples but I also recall being led by God to a great church where the Bible was taught simply yet carefully. I recall the pastor saying that we needed to understand “dispensations” or we’d end up misinterpreting the Word of God. I was clueless what dispensations were that day until he went on to say that if we don’t understand God worked differently in different times with His people to unfold His Word we could end up with many questions and inadequate answers. Like, why does God command a certain offering back in the Old Testament and He doesn’t today? Why do we worship on Sunday in church and they didn’t then? Why did they not eat meat before the flood and today we can enjoy filet mignon? Thanks to Acts 10 !
I started to see the principles of how to understand the Bible are even in it ! And I began to be able to sort truth from error, but would never have been able to do so without Him since He is TRUTH and as John said He is “FULL of grace and truth.” (Jn.1:14) Not only does that mean completeness but also no lack !!
All in all we can only attribute any ability to discern truth from error due to the Lord ! We ought to thank Him, ask Him for more insight and enjoy Proverbs regularly or the other 65 books of the Word to nurture a stronger “pinger” like what went off with our clerk !! It’s one of the perks of reading your Bible and being in a great church ! And when the questions come and decisions face you its great having biblical discernment.