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  • Virginia Brown

The Issue behind the Issue




Because the devil sugar coats his lies, Christians need discernment. What is discernment? Hebrews 5:14 reads, “But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” Discernment entails cultivating the habit of parsing truth from error. It’s the propensity to see the real issue behind the surface-level one. Here’s what I mean.


Imagine that there’s a fictional book geared for kids that tells the story of an “Uncle Joe” who had been married three times because “he couldn’t find the right woman.” Discernment should kick in at this point—“Well, that’s an odd story to put into a children’s book.” As the story continues, the author rationalizes Uncle Joe’s decision by stating, “Uncle Joe isn’t a bad guy or anything.” Red alert! Red alert! With this comment, the author erases the evil of unjustified divorce and communicates to kids the message that marriage is an easy-come, easy-go relationship. Both points dishonor God. To discern means we see the real issue (the approval of an ungodly and harmful view of marriage and divorce) behind the surface-level issue (“Oh. Haha! Uncle Joe is such a goofball.”).


What is needed in these days of madness? The world needs discerning Christians. The devil wants to muddy the waters. He sows confusion and reaps destruction. The masses swallow his lies—hook, line, and sinker! In the power of the Holy Spirit, we must train our minds “by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” Don’t believe everything you hear. Don’t follow everything you read. Discern the real issue behind the surface-level issue.


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