Chapter 21: Discernment
LET openness, honest confession of sin, prayer for health (and other petitions), and total transparency be governed by discernment — not by pride, fear or apathy. If total transparency is governed by discernment, there will be times to withhold things. For instance, the confession of sexual sins in the midst of both couples and mixed singles is usually bad discernment, because in doing that, people are easily tempted. Without desiring to do so at all, they’ll think about it and the details of the confession may stick in their minds for a long time. They won’t want to, but every time they see you, they may think about that confession. What you intended to be an honest and humble confession was actually creating a temptation in someone else’s life. Be careful about talking about things at times and in places that would hurt other people. It’s a matter of wisdom and sensitivity.
Be sure that discernment is the ruling factor, not pride, fear or apathy. Fear shouldn’t keep you from confessing anything. Nor should you be too apathetic to care whether it’s confessed or not. And don’t keep from confessing because you are too proud to show others that you are a weak vessel at times, too. Those factors can never rule; only discernment in Christ’s Spirit should rule. Understand?
If a number of large or small gatherings pass by with no confession of sin or brokenness before God (not wimpy introspection, but humility and vigorous hatred of the enemy of Jesus), I would be afraid for the life expectancy of that group. I suspect its days would be numbered — at least true Life would be near faltering. God will work with people who have messed up a hundred different ways if they’ll just hate sin and confess it honestly and openly. Sin, remember, is the thing that stands between God and man. Let your humility and confession be done in Wisdom, but not rationalized into a closed and hypocritical state.
When God is on the Throne and we come easily, with freedom and discernment, into the Light…He Himself will join us. And you can’t beat that!