A Discerning Spirit

Wanda Hendrickson

READ : Ecclesiastes 8:1-6

Big step. She raised her year-and-half-old foot to make it over a little bump in the sidewalk. As a child, I can recall telephone poles whizzing by my eyes when I rode in the car, which probably couldn’t travel faster than 40 miles per hour. Once Grandpa’s back yard was immense, it was surely acres in size. It seemed like the hill at the park was fearfully steep. Elder Mr. Vande Bunte was the biggest man in the world when he came to call.

One of the changes in growing up is our perception. A grown-up’s view scales down our childhood images, and in so doing, we lose some of the wonder and esteem. “Let’s get real” can become cynicism. Is her retreat to her room an act of defiance due to the stress at school? He hasn’t called because his schedule is tight, or is he avoiding? An angry child’s “I don’t like you” may be “I don’t want to.” It’s all the same to the child.

One of the gifts of the Spirit is discernment, that God-given ability to put people and experiences into proper perspective, to see accurately what is truly there. Discernment changes as we grow up in Christ. The center of our point of view now is Christ. What may sound like a fault could be a cry for faith. Discernment talks of strength and witness, rather than weakness and woe.


When we discern through Your power, O Christ, we see as we should, clear, true and open. Thank You. Amen.