Discernment is a spiritual gift, along with many others described in 1 Corinthians 12. God provides every Christian with spiritual gifts; however, not everyone uses them.
The Greek word for discernment is diakrisis. This describes the ability to distinguish, discern, judge, or appraise a person, statement, situation, or environment. It can be related to the “discerning of spirits” as in 1 Corinthians 12:10 or between good and evil in Hebrews 5:14 (NASB).
I like to personally define discernment as “spirit-infused decision making.” C.H. Spurgeon defines discernment as “not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.” Sometimes, discernment goes beyond our thoughts, feelings, opinions, and faith into the very will of God for our lives.
No person will be perfect in all decision-making, but we can make better decisions based on the information we have and through the prompting of God’s Spirit in us.
Higher-level discernment is sometimes the difference between a blessing and a curse. The Israelites in Deuteronomy 28 were given many blessings for obedience to the law and curses for disobedience. Decisions that we make poorly and without discernment can easily lead to a lifetime of negative consequences.
As we continue on this journey of identifying areas of discernment, ask yourself, "what areas in the past have I had good and poor discernment in?"