What is Discernment in the Bible?
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What is Discernment in the Bible?


Discernment, a crucial and often overlooked aspect of the Christian faith, plays a vital role in the lives of believers. The Bible speaks extensively about discernment, emphasizing its importance in guiding believers towards a righteous path, away from the deceptive ways of the world.

Understanding discernment is paramount to living a life that is pleasing to God, and learning to rely on the Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance is essential for every believer.

In this blog post, we will delve deeper into the meaning of discernment, its significance in the Bible, and how Christians can develop and apply it in their daily lives.

We will also explore the practical benefits of cultivating discernment in our walk with God. Finally, we will reflect on the ultimate source of wisdom and discernment: the Holy Spirit.

We invite you to join us in this journey to better understand discernment in the Bible, with the hope that it will deepen your relationship with God and enable you to live a life that is pleasing to Him.

Discernment in the bible

The Definition of Discernment

Discernment, at its core, is the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, truth and falsehood, and good and evil. It involves the capacity to make sound judgments based on spiritual insight and understanding.

In the New King James Version (NKJV) of the Bible, the word “discern” or its variations appear several times, signifying its importance in the lives of believers.

One of the key Bible verses on discernment is found in Hebrews 5:14 (NKJV), which states, “But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

Here, the author emphasizes the need for mature believers to grow in their ability to discern good from evil, as it is essential for their spiritual growth.

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The Importance of Discernment

Discernment plays a critical role in the Christian faith for several reasons:

Spiritual Growth

As mentioned earlier, discernment is crucial for spiritual growth. A believer’s ability to discern good from evil allows them to make decisions that align with God’s will, ultimately leading to a deeper relationship with Him.

In 1 Peter 2:2 (NKJV), we are encouraged to grow spiritually, “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.”

Protection Against False Teachings

Discernment serves as a safeguard against false teachings and deception. In 1 John 4:1 (NKJV), we are warned, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

By developing discernment, believers can protect themselves from being led astray by false teachers and false prophets.

Guidance in Decision-Making

Discernment also aids in decision-making, enabling believers to make choices that are in line with God’s will.

In Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV), we read, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Discernment helps Christians to recognize God’s guidance and make decisions that honor Him.

Developing and Applying Discernment

Cultivating discernment is an ongoing process that requires intentionality and commitment. Here are some practical steps to help you develop and apply discernment in your life:

Study the Word of God

To develop discernment, we must first immerse ourselves in the Word of God. The Bible serves as the ultimate source of truth, and by studying it diligently, we can grow in our understanding of God’s will.

2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV) encourages us to be diligent in our study of the Scriptures, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Regular Bible study equips us with the knowledge and wisdom necessary to discern truth from falsehood.

Pray for Wisdom and Discernment

Prayer is a powerful tool for seeking wisdom and discernment from God. In James 1:5 (NKJV), we are told, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

As we pray for discernment, we can trust that God will generously provide the insight we need to make sound judgments.

Cultivate a Relationship with the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the ultimate source of wisdom and discernment. As believers, we must nurture our relationship with the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to guide and direct us in all areas of our lives.

In John 16:13 (NKJV), Jesus promises, “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” Developing a closer relationship with the Holy Spirit is vital for growing in discernment.

Seek Godly Counsel

Proverbs 11:14 (NKJV) states, “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”

Seeking advice from spiritually mature believers can provide valuable insights and help to sharpen our discernment. Surrounding ourselves with godly counsel encourages us to make wise decisions that honor God.


Discernment is a vital aspect of the Christian faith, necessary for spiritual growth, protection against false teachings, and guidance in decision-making.

By studying the Word of God, praying for wisdom and discernment, cultivating a relationship with the Holy Spirit, and seeking godly counsel, believers can develop and apply discernment in their daily lives.

As we grow in discernment, we become better equipped to navigate the complexities of life and make decisions that align with God’s will. This, in turn, deepens our relationship with God and enables us to live a life that is pleasing to Him.

May we all be diligent in our pursuit of discernment, trusting that God will generously provide the wisdom and insight we need to walk in His truth and righteousness.

Pastor duke taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.