Think of a time you made a poor decision . . . maybe it was a bad choice for a girlfriend or boyfriend, maybe it was a poor business deal or career choice, or maybe it was a negative comment you made that hurt someone’s feelings. Whatever the poor decision you made was, you couldn’t see the results of that decision and the regret you would feel later. That’s why they say hindsight is 20/20 because we see back at the past with perfect clarity of what we did wrong or what we did right.
If you could go back and stop yourself from making a bad decision you probably would. However, we need bad decisions to know what good decisions look like. It is a part of the growth process; we have all made and will continue to make, poor decisions. The trick is not making the same mistake twice and growing in our discernment.
God is not confined to time, so He sees all decisions in perfect clarity with the past, present, and future in parallel with each other. We should trust in God and His plan for our life through the Bible, and we should ask for clarity from the Holy Spirit to help us avoid pitfalls along the way.
In the verse above Paul prays that the Philippians’ love would abound in knowledge and depth of insight so that they would discern . . . but what’s love got to do with it?
Paul was referring to love here as unity among the body of Christ. As we display love, we understand more of God because God is love. There are many examples in the Bible on how we should be an example in loving others not to mention Jesus who said to love the Lord with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.
But this verse as it relates to discernment is remarkably interesting because as we love and grow in knowledge, we will be able to discern clearly. How is love and discernment related? To make this clearer, think about the other extreme—what good decisions did you make that were done in hate? Probably not many, if any.
Reflect: How do I show the love of Christ to others during my daily routines? How can I make decisions through the lens of God’s love for me?