Athlete, Learn to Love This

Learn to Love This

9,10  "And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent …"

Philippians 1:9,10 (ESV)

For those involved with sport, three “D” words get universal use: DISCIPLINE, DEVELOPMENT and DEFENSE. Right?

But there's one more “D” word that must factor into the discussion and play out everywhere. It is DISCERNMENT. God wants us to love this oft-overlooked word and give it plenty of exercise.

Discernment is defined this way: acute judgment; right understanding; fine discrimination; proper perception; wise recognition.

It's interesting to note what God says about discernment in Proverbs 14. Let's take a look.

Negativity blocks discernment. The more negative I am, the blinder I become in discernment. "The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning" (Proverbs 14:6 NIV).

Without discernment, we all can be fooled. "There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death" (Proverbs 14:12).

Hit the pause button to start discernment. "The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps" (Proverbs 14:15).

Discernment is an equal opportunity provider. Its payment currency is wisdom, and its bank is the heart. "Wisdom reposes in the heart of the discerning and even among fools she lets herself be known" (Proverbs 14:33).

Having discernment is a bigger deal than we think. It's really a matter of life and death. "The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death" (Proverbs 14:27).

Reflect: How discerning are you really? Are you great at this part of your “game,” or can you be easily deceived? Are you creating enough time and space to develop discernment?

A prayer to consider: LORD, teach me discernment in all I do. May I love this D word above all others. Don't let me get fooled by life.

Grant me courage to do the wise thing no matter what. Help me focus on the unseen more than the seen, just like Jesus. Fill me with Your wisdom. It's so much better than what this world offers.

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