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Discernment

Sep 30, 2008 at 00:14
Category: Leadership Files

By: Steve & Marilyn Hill

We have all gone through times when we wondered where our discernment was.  One of the lessons that Marilyn and I  have learned is that we begin to fly blind when we have any agenda other than simple obedience to Jesus.  

In I John 3:15- 17, John talks about three agendas that capture our hearts and blind us.  I want to speak of them in reverse order.

"The pride of life":  This is the pride of position above or place among peers. This is the pride of personal accomplishment.  This is the acceptance and promotion of your group.  This is  power through association.  This is the creation of your own special group where you are the insider and others are the outsiders where you can enjoy the power of inclusion and exclusion.    This problem afflicts us in groups large or small, organic or inorganic.   When we want to be seen with the successful and associated with the influential we will run blind to the realities of their hearts and ours.  This is not "love covering a multitude of sins" but pride determining that some one is useful for you in advancing your ministry.  This is the politics of career advancement.  This is not following Jesus even if that road takes you outside the camp. 

"The lust of the eyes": This is judging success by finances and the trinkets of  lifestyle.  Much of what goes for christianity has become a prosperity cult.   We judge by the numbers and not by character and faithfulness in relationships.  We have justified materialism as blessing.  We are blind.    

The lust of the eyes is to see people as our source.  The King said, "Freely you have received, freely give."  The Kingdom is to receive without expectation and to give without obligation.  Do we leave each other free unto Jesus who is the source?  Do we act differently when we are with folks with material means?  If we do James says (James 2:1- 4) that we have become "judges with evil thoughts" and we begin to fly blind.

"The lust of the flesh":  If I can have whatever I want in terms of position and things why not sexually as well?  The mystery of lawlessness is progressive.  The impure motive often leads to an impure lifestyle.  Proverbs 22:14 suggests the fall into immorality is the judgement of God upon pride.  God does resist the proud and God does give grace to the humble.  When was the last time you meditated on pride as the root of all sin?  We are so afraid of false humility and religious posturing that we have embraced the pride of life as healthy and reject true, functional humility as "old fashioned".  

Humility is to serve Jesus and to serve others without personal agenda. 

Humility is the foundation of discernment.  

May we see ourselves in His light.

May we serve others in His love.

 

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