Perception and Discernment by Suzanne Timbrouck
1 Corinthians 14:26 How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.
Judging without being judgmental – there is a fine line to walk in this.
Perception: mental grasp of qualities by means of one’s senses verses Discernment.
If our discernment is not in the spiritual we do it in our flesh. But we make mistakes in our flesh and our fleshly perceptions are inaccurate.
Our perceptions are colored by our past, our experiences, etc. We can’t go by perception in the ministry.
In the flesh the person may think they perceive what the problem is but they may have it entirely wrong.
Discernment – spiritual grasp of the qualities by means of our spiritual senses.
There is a struggle between the Spirit and the flesh. Our physical senses, sight, touch, smell, taste, hearing and their perceptions are tainted by past experiences.
Philippians 1:9-10 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ,
Discernment – sincere and without offense. We are to judge without being judgmental.
There are two kinds of people: 1) those saved 2) those not saved.
We judge an unbeliever who has not signed up to live their lives by the Bible differently from a believer. One thing we know is that the unbeliever needs a Savior.
May our love abound.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Not one place in this description of love is there a word that describes how you feel – love is not feelings, it is a choice. It is an action on our part. What does it mean to love? We are to love both the believer and the stranger. When we speak in love to people, we are not to be puffed up, rude, or provoking even if we are 100% right about our opinion. And we need to speak from a heart of love for if we are pretending to be loving the people can detect that falseness by a look on our faces. When you are ministering to people there is a fine line between judging and being judgmental.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The Word of God helps us discern between SOUL and SPIRIT – they are different.
The soul is the mind, will, emotions – and the soul is where we come with our fleshly perceptions.
The spirit man is where we gain discernment.
Hebrews 5:14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Our senses need to be exercised to discern good and evil. What are our spiritual senses – The Word, Prayer, and Correct fruit. We need to be fruit testers.
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
When we are peeved by a person we need to pray: SHOW ME THEM THROUGH YOUR EYES. Pray about the person who peeves you. God will help you to understand why the person is acting the way they are, and He will give us Godly compassion for them.
God can give us an accurate perception about a person and that accurate perception will grow as we pray for the person. Pray and ask for discernment. When we get what we think is the answer, make sure it lines up with the Word of God for the Spirit and the Word must agree.
To judge without being judgmental we need to judge in love. There is a difference in how we are judging believers and unbelievers.
Judging unbelievers with grace : Colossians 4:1-6 Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven. Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
We need to pray that God will open a door. We need to walk in wisdom, and have our speech be with grace, seasoned with salt. When we are speaking with unbelievers, we need to ask God how to impart the right answer to their questions. There is a fine line between judging without being judgmental.
Colossians 3:12-17 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
This message is for dealing with either believers or unbelievers. We must put on love. When we correct a brother or sister in Christ we must do it in love, not to make the person feel condemned, or come at them with an attitude. What you have to say will be more readily received if it is done in love.
Philippians 2:9-11 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
God puts the name of Jesus above all names.
Colossians 4:3 meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains,
Pray for the right words to minister to others in love.
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