Discernment & Acceptance
Acceptance is a virtue that is easy to applaud. It feels good for everyone involved when we are approving, supportive, and accepting. Often that is precisely what life calls for—a broad, sympathetic, and inclusive heart that embraces someone even when they don’t deserve it (Rom.15:7; Col. 3:13). But there is a complementary virtue that Jesus frequently taught us to possess. Perhaps it was emphasized so frequently throughout the Bible because it often feels bad, and is rarely applauded. I am talking about the biblical call for godly men and women to “beware” (Mt. 7:15), “watch out” (Mk. 8:15), “avoid” (Rom.16:17), and even “separate from” (2 Cor. 6:17) those who claim Christ, but practice and promote the things that are contrary to God’s word (1 Cor. 5:11). The core of this virtue is called “discernment” and it has certainly fallen out of favor in our day. But because, as the Bible warns, “false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you” (2 Pt. 2:1), we must be on guard. Especially because the twisting of the truth is rarely obvious. The wolves’ most effective work is done in sheep’s clothing (Mt. 7:15). “Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14). So be discerning, and carefully consider when it is godly to be accepting and when it is not.
-- Pastor Mike
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