Learning To Discern

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I am a pretty good judge of character for the most part. I know in my “knower” if people are good or bad, or more truthful, if I will be able to get along with them. We all have our faults and quirks and some of us just flat out sin. Not that I have had permission granted to judge another person as far as sentencing them according to their crime, for we all have sin and no one deserves to be judged. But, if you are trying to better yourself, your life, change or just try to stay out of trouble you better know that God gives you that “know-er”, still small voice, discernment for a reason. As my mother would say “it’s for your own good”. So, why don’t we use it?

Many reasons come to mind, but I am going to share without sharing on a personal level. The number one reason for me is APPROVAL ADDICTION. I want people to like me. Even when I don’t like them. I remember the first time someone just out and out didn’t like me. (I’m sure it had happened before, but, no one was ever bold enough to just say it.) I was floored, I just couldn’t believe this person did not like ME! I spent more time than I would like to admit pondering why, and what could I do to change it? I tried not to care but I worked with this person every day and I did care. Not enough to change me. I thought it was some flaw in her. That began my long battle with approval addiction.

People’s first impression of me is that I am an extrovert. Because I am friendly and usually wear a smile I am frequently misplaced. i wearbthe extrovert mask but truly i am an introvert. I will avoid confrontation at all costs. I love deeply, I am sensing, feeling, perceiving according to the Myers Brigg. I need people to like me. I believe everyone does to a certain extent. Even really tough people who say they don’t care really do. If you really don’t care you may be somewhat of a narcissist. Anyone with a conscious cares a little what other people think about them.

A few years back I became a part of an organization. A rather large part. I was met with resistance from the word go. I was on a mission and quite oblivious to those around me and their snickers and talk. Eventually it came boiling out. I was hurt and quite confused because the rumors were lies and perception of my intentions, all far from the truth. I will just try harder and they will see the good in me right? No, I should have used the discernment that God gave me and moved on. That is not what happened. I stayed in that organization for two more years, trying to see the good in people. Two years later it happened again. Yup, you guessed it, same people, just a few new ones added to the group. This time when it came boiling out it burned me.

The need for approval over ruled my common sense or as I like to call it discernment. We are given discernment for a reason, call it a warning. Discernment is the ability judge a situation accurately-to see the full reality of a situation, relationship, experience or circumstance. When you know and you don’t listen, you are headed for trouble. I didn’t listen and trouble hit me head on and almost put me so far down I couldn’t get up.

Trouble is lurking around every corner. It is the wolf in sheep’s clothing. We must know the nature of our enemy. He is waiting to destroy us. So let this be a warning. If we do not learn to discern as we walk the tracks of our lives their will be consequences. I can only be thankful that I am not laying down on the tracks waiting for that train to hit me. I hope that this time I will derail the train. I am learning that I need to be ok more than I need people to like me. I will discern the truth and walk away from situations and people who are trouble.Image

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