Learning to Discern#7. “Self-discernment.”

Learning to Discern#7. “Self-discernment.”

I do not remember any specific details of when, where or who, but I do remember what I was planning to do. I was about to speak my mind to a brother’s bad attitude in a rather unrestrained manner. Fortunately, two things were happening at the same time. Firstly, the brother wouldn’t stop talking, and secondly someone was watching me. Just as I was about to launch forth my youthful ire, a good sister came up beside me and put her hand on my shoulder. It was not only enough to stop me from overreacting, but it was also the fulfilment of the scripture:
“Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues” (Proverbs 17:28).

According to the scripture’s backhanded manner, she had made a ‘Wiseman’ out of me for remaining silent.

However, she had also fulfilled another scripture. The one that bestowed upon her the divine family blessing:
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9).

Words are powerful. They are designed to communicate the best that God has made of us. It is our added corruption that breaks in and destroys the Majestic intent.

The thought that we should restrain each other, lest we make fools of ourselves, seems childish. And, in a perfect world that would be so. But given that we bring to our conversations sets of conflicting emotions, it can be a blessing to have a minder nearby.

It is a sad day when God must go to extreme lengths to restrain a man from saying things he shouldn’t. Peter reminds us of how God dealt with Balaam:
“But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—an animal without speech—who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness” (1Pet.2:16).

Consequently, self-discernment appears to be a skill worth praying for.

John Staiger

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