Advent & Misguided Discernment

“Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for God’s wrath is coming on the disobedient because of these things. Therefore, do not become their partners. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light— for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth—discerning what is pleasing to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:6-10

“Discerning what is pleasing to the Lord.” Discernment seems to be a lost art. I wonder if it is because many of us have stepped too close to the darkness and the eyes of our heart have adjusted to see, although dimly.

One thing seems evident as I listen to Christian responses (or lack thereof) at what is taking place in national politics: we have become incapable of discerning what is true, good and beautiful. Perhaps it is because many of us have unwittingly changed partners. We have misplaced our hope, peace and joy in a fragile kingdom causing us to unwittingly misplace our allegiance to a fickle and faulty “king.”

Misplaced allegiances result in misguided discernment.

As our beloved bro Paul might suggest, if it doesn’t result in goodness, righteousness and truth it isn’t of the light, my friend. There is nothing good about hatred and fear-mongering. There is nothing righteous about treating women as though they are sexual objects and acting like it is okay. There is nothing truthful about scapegoating, shaming of dismissing the pain of others. These behaviors aren’t the results of a person walking in the light no matter their confession. It is the result of walking in darkness and evidence of a different partnership than partnering with God. And if by chance we cannot see, perhaps we need to take a look at with whom we are partnering.

The season of Advent reminds us that a great light has dawned on those living in darkness.

May we see. May we turn away and turn back to King Jesus. Forsake all other allegiances and change partners. Partner with God. Just know it is going to cost you something. It will cost you friends and reputation, maybe even with those you’ve consider close to you. But it is worth it.

May we see the light and live in the light so we can discern what is pleasing to the Lord and be a light.

About Fred

I am a follower of Jesus, the husband to Alison Glenn, daddy to my little man Ian. I am a son, brother, friend, bi-vocational pastor of Williamsburg Christian Church, ethnographer, activist and justice seeker, founder and president of 3e Restoration Inc, adjunct professor at Regent University, and mission specialist of church renewal with Mission Alive. I received my B.S. in Ministry/Bible at Amridge University and my Masters of Religious Education in Missional Leadership (MREML) from Rochester College. I am currently working toward my Doctorate of Ministry in Contextual Theology at Northern Seminary.
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One Response to Advent & Misguided Discernment

  1. Gailyn Van Rheenen says:

    Thanks for these reflections. Well said.

    Gailyn

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