Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Love and Discernment

"And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ." Philippians 1:9,10

In 1 Corinthians 8 Paul writes of knowledge without love. Here it is suggested that it is possible to have love without knowledge. Paul here assumes that love is normal in the believers. He prays that this love might abound more and more. He also prays that this love be accompanied with knowledge and all discernment.

There seems to be two reasons for this discerning love: 1)so that we may approve what is excellent. If we have love without discernment, we may end up approving things we should not approve; and 2)so that we may be pure and blameless. These two reasons may be close together. If we approve what we should not approve, we will not be blameless.

One of the reasons that love sometimes occurs without discernment is because love does not have a precise, sharp definition in the minds of those doing the loving. Discernment might mean seeing things which are not pleasant nor approved. Discernment might mean disapproving. "Love" to many people does not allow for disapproving. Love becomes gooey and sweet and consequently, sticky and messy.

(An excerpt from On Being a Christian, by Jim Wilson)

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