Discernment Or Judgment?

Q. Over the past couple of years or so, I’m sensing that I may have the gift of discernment, in that I seem to be able to see the root of issues while others focus on the symptoms. (I have a difficulty even writing this because is appears to be pompous.) Various people have commented that they see wisdom in my words, which has caused me to watch my “tongue”.

Lately, I’ve come to sense that our church and leadership appear to be off-the-mark. (Ex. – focusing on the church’s financial crisis by encouraging the congregation to increase their giving instead of addressing the financial crisis as a spiritual problem. Or implementing programs to get people into the church instead of asking God why He hasn’t brought people to our doors.)

I question myself whether I’m falling into a judgmental attitude or if this is true spiritual discernment. Whether actual or perceived, I get the sense that the leadership is not too interested in what a woman would have to say.

Any discernment on your part would be appreciated.

A. Unless the leadership is truly submitted to God and open to receiving words of discernment as a problem solving tool, I imagine your perception of their likely response is accurate.

My own suspicion is that the two issues you raise are connected. In my experience, church leadership often adopts one of the various membership building models as a means to solving financial problems rather than fulfilling the great commission. They fail to consider the fact that empty pockets and empty pews are both signs pointing to deeper problems rather than being the problems themselves.

Only the Lord can tell you whether your reaction to these things is discernment or judgment. But someone has to raise the possibility of spiritual issues causing these tangible problems or they’ll only get worse. Ask the Lord it that’s supposed to be you, and if it is don’t worry about the consequences. Like He told Ezekiel, “If you tell them what I say and they don’t listen, it’s their problem, but if you don’t tell them, it’s yours.” Or words to that effect. (Ezekiel 3:16-19)

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