• Rev. Mark Tews

Discernment vs. Suspicion

"So, Moses thought, 'I will go over and see this strange sight – why the bush does not burn up.'"

~Exodus 3:3

"And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David." ~1 Sam. 18:9

Discernment is extremely valuable to people of faith. But sometimes we label suspicion with the pious name of discernment and think we are being super spiritual. So it’s important to learn the difference between discernment and suspicion. And that difference is quite simple… Discernment will recognize evil for what it is. Suspicion will imagine evil where there is none.

When Moses saw the burning bush on the mountainside, he said, “I must turn aside now, and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.” He was genuinely curious and wanted to see what was going on. He didn’t imagine all sorts of evil lurking near that bush; he merely saw the bush and went to see what was up.

On the alternative side of things, there is Saul who, suspicious of David, let his imagination run wild. He imagined evil motives when there were none.

I have known over the years, especially while serving as Navy Chaplain, young men who were blessed with a beautiful young woman in their life. Warm, caring, hard-working, faithful, and devoted young women. But these men were unable to relax and enjoy the blessings God was pouring out upon them through their wonderful young wives. Instead, they were suspicious of every move, always wondering what was “really” motivating her to be so nice to him. When folks like this don’t let go of such unfounded suspicions, they soon lose the relationship, and wonder why. I have seen this happen time and time again.

How often are you and I guilty of the same thing? Letting our imagination take over when discernment and wisdom would be so much better. Suspicion destroys relationships… it destroys lives. When we are constantly suspicious of the motives of others, we drive people away that otherwise may very well have been great blessings to us.

Check your life today… Are you discerning… or merely suspicious? The difference can make all the difference in the world.

"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… to the glory and praise of God." ~Philippians 1:9-11