I want to make the right decisions in my life, who doesn't? As a parent, I also want my children to make the right decisions from the big decisions such as who they will marry to what team to support when Wales play England in rugby, football or netball!
We our faced with choices all of the time and sometimes those choices can be overwhelming. The common response is to say 'do what's best for you or if it doesn't hurt anyone, then carry on!' surely we need discernment when making those choices. Discernment is simply the ability to define and act upon the difference between right and wrong.
Recently I read an article that has helped me work through discernment, here it is for you to read -
How to Help Teens Pursue Discernment
In Ephesians 4, Paul connects growth and discernment for the church in Ephesus. As Christians learn from godly teachers, we will “grow up” in Christ and become less and less like undiscerning children “tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” (v. 14). Instead, as we increase in maturity and wisdom, we will increase in discernment too. And as we do that, we “grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (v. 15).
So if discernment is needed to spiritually grow up, how do teens get it? Ultimately, like everything else good in our lives, God is the giver (Dan. 2:21). His Spirit works in our hearts to effect lasting change. But he’s also given us the responsibility to seek and find and teach discernment. As Paul exhorts, “Try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord” (Eph. 5:10).
There are two big ways we do that—two things to teach your teens.
1. Teach them to go to God’s Word.
God is the rock solid foundation of discernment, so what better place to look for it than in his Word? Proverbs 2 says that if we receive and study and love God’s true words, he will give discernment. When we set our minds on the things of God, we immerse ourselves in what’s right and, in the process, we protect ourselves from deception (Matt. 16:23).
God has written down his truth in Scripture, and we have unlimited access to it. By studying it, we’re able to use it as an objective standard and measuring stick to evaluate the teaching we encounter. If you want more discernment, read the Bible. If you want your teens to grow, teach them to read it.
2. Teach them to ask God for discernment.
The second way to gain discernment seems both childishly simple and tiredly cliché—pray. But since God is the One who gives discernment, we should ask for it. That’s what Solomon did when he became Israel’s king. God appeared to him in a dream and said, “Ask what I shall give you” (1 Kings 3:5). It was an unqualified invitation.
Solomon replied with great humility:
O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people? (1 Kings 3:7–9)
He was a brand-new king. He could have asked for political power, victory in battle, popularity, fame, or unfailing success. Instead, he asked for the most valuable thing he knew of—discernment. Teach your teens to take a page out of Solomon’s playbook and humbly and earnestly ask the Lord to give them discernment. “If any of you lacks wisdom,” James writes, “let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5).
God is the source of truth, so if your teens want to know what is right and best, send them to him. Encourage them to express their desire to obey him through discernment, and ask him to mature them in this area.
As Jesus followers, our entire lives are different because of what God says is true and what he says is false. Discernment and growth walk hand in hand. Like houseplants, we grow up and we live, or we don’t. There’s no in-between.
Discernment changes everything.
With thanks to the gospel coalition blog