A Quick Note on a Biblical Command to Be Discerning

infant_with_bottleThis is just a quick thought on Heb 5:14.

Solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

I very rarely like to post or comment on a single verse. As Greg Koukl says, “Never read a Bible verse,” meaning never just take a single verse and try to figure out what it means. You can’t rip a verse out of its context and expect to get a clear understanding of what the original author meant when he wrote it. And if you get a different meaning from a verse than the original author meant, you’ve got the wrong meaning. Many false teachings and false applications have been drawn from the bad habit of neglecting the context of a verse.

Hebrews 5:14, however, is one of those verses that might be called principle verses. The author of Hebrews has been talking about the fact that the old Law is gone by evidence of a new priesthood, that of Melchizedek. He then goes on to say that he’d like to say more about it but his audience is lacking the spiritual maturity to understand. He says that his readers should be mature, but, like babies, they still need milk and can’t handle solid food. Then he says that, “solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”

This maturity that he’s talking about is what I strive for. I hope you do also.

Take a moment to look at how he describes maturity. The mature person is one who has his “powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” Discernment doesn’t come naturally to us little humans. It takes training. It takes constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

There are very few things that are more dangerous to a Christian than the thought that he cannot be deceived, or the thought that he sees everything clearly. One of the most common sources of this danger, I believe, is personal feelings. Just because a saying or writing makes you feel good or resonates with you doesn’t make it good or right. It must be compared with a proper understanding of Scripture, and that takes practice. And practice takes work.

So, get to work! As will I.

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