Are you a discerning person? Do you have the ability to match what you see with what you feel, think, hear and believe?

Discernment, spiritual insight, and Biblical wisdom are essential in the Christian life.

If you have accepted Christ as your Savior, you have a relationship with Him. The relationship grows stronger by walking with Him, fellowshipping with Him, prayer, and study of His Word, the Bible.

As you walk with Christ and develop your spiritual life, you become more discerning because you filter your life experiences through His teaching and His wisdom.

The apostle Paul was warning the Colossians in today’s scripture about a philosophical war among them. The Jews of the day were struggling to hold on to the Jewish traditions that were intended to “lead people to the Messiah,” and they were continuing to insert this philosophy as a requirement for spirituality.

The gentiles of the day were mixing their “philosophies of life” with the teachings of Christ. Both of these approaches were creating a head-on collision with the pure teachings and truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. By holding on to the world’s philosophy and then adding the teachings of Jesus to it, you create a life that competes with your commitment to the teachings of Jesus. The result is a diluted version of the true gospel.

Do you have discernment and spiritual insight? 

Are you looking at life through the lens of scripture or are you making excuses with yourself about the choices you make based on a mixed philosophy of the current culture and the teachings of Christ?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself to test your discernment and spiritual insight (and your genuine commitment to Christ).

1. Are you basing your relationship with Christ on a solid commitment to Him as your personal Savior? Could you give someone a “when, where, and how” you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? Or are you just trusting in someone else’s spirituality to get you into good standing with Jesus, like a parent, grandparent, or spiritual influencer? You don’t want to leave your eternal destiny to chance. If you are unsure, please get this figured out. Talk to a pastor, a godly friend, or family member and solidify your understanding of whether you are a true believer or not.

2. Are you pursuing a path toward spiritual maturity, with a desire and commitment to grow, to become deeply rooted and established in Christ? Are you regularly reading the Bible, spending time in prayer, and choosing to spend time with friends and mentors who are mature, discerning Christians?

3. Are you living according to God’s truth and committed to obedience to Him? Be honest with yourself here. Do you ever lie or are you committed to always telling the truth? Do you love God more than money, power, status, pleasure, and praise of people? Are you committed to God’s standard of moral purity? Just because the culture says something is okay, that does not reflect the teachings of Christ in areas of morality and moral purity. Have you committed to remain sexually pure and save yourself for the marriage relationship, as God established? Are you committed to a life of hearing God’s voice, submission to His will, and surrender to His plans?

4. Are you committed to turning to God and His word as the standard, the only measure, for answers to questions about how life should be lived here on this earth, how you should think, act and believe?

Jesus isn’t only interested in handing out “free tickets to heaven” even though many people view their relationship with Christ as just that. They want to pray a prayer, get their ticket and go on to live their own way. Jesus is calling us to a life of full commitment to Him, not a diluted version of faith. Don’t let the world, culture, and philosophies of friends and influencers cheat you out of the incredible life plan God has for you. Commit today to clarify your commitment to Christ, commit to obeying His Word, and turn to His word as the standard for all decisions that direct your thinking, actions, and purpose.

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6-7

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. Colossians 2:8

Jesus transforms! Don’t just accept His gift, commit yourself to the spiritual journey He offers. Develop discernment and spiritual insight by following Him and the teaching of His Word.

Ken Turner