The Cursed Gift of Discernment

gift-of-discernmentMany, many years ago, before I was married, I knew a man from my church (my college group) who loved the Word of God with such passion, and he defended it. There would be maybe a dozen of us college students at a Dennys restaurant in the middle of the night. If someone spoke something that was error Scripturally, he knew the truth, and he spoke the truth. His face would get really serious (he was normally a goofball, so the transformation was actually quite dramatic). And he nailed it. Everything he said was true; I looked it up. He used pure Scripture to speak, and he spoke so eloquently that I wanted to clap. I love the Truth. I love it with all my heart. So this man’s spiritual gift made him very attractive to me. I ended up marrying him because of it.

My husband’s spiritual gift cuts through the bull and gets to the heart of the matter. If you didn’t know him, you might think he was mad. But he is speaking the truth in love, I can promise you that. The reason I know this is because a highly respected woman from my church has the same spiritual gift, and it manifests itself in the same identical way. But because she’s in a position of leadership, her words are respected and taken to heart. Yes, a few women are ticked off and don’t like her, but the reason they don’t is that they don’t want to know the truth. The truth hurts, especially when it is a Scripture directed to a personal sin in your own life. Ouch, is what I say. Please tell me more. I don’t want sin in my life. I don’t need it to be candy coated, and this person can’t candy-coat it without compromising the truth. So they don’t. It is not sin for her to get super serious, speak in an almost agitated tone of voice, and almost sound like she’s yelling at me. Her rebukes are harsh, even from my point of view. But I am absolutely certain that she loves me. She knows that my heart wants the truth more than anything. Where else can I go? I NEED people like this in my life. She can see straight through to my soul and see things that I don’t know are there. And she is right. I repent and I am healed in a matter of minutes. Deep spiritual surgery has occurred in a short space of time, and I feel so clean and pure I want to shout for joy. The crucifixion of my sin frees me. I love her so much. I love ALL of it – the complete package — because it’s so highly effective. Telling her to dilute it would compromise the content of the message. It wouldn’t get through to my heart. I WANT it to get through. Less sin, more peace. The truth sets me free.

One hundred percent of people with this spiritual gift look like they’re mad, but they are not mad. They also sound arrogant, but they’re usually not. They are certain about the truth, and their utter confidence comes across as pride. But my husband and my gray-haired mentor friend are two of the most humble people I know, and now I know why. They’ve been slammed across the head their whole life for speaking the truth, and they are especially hated at church. To be misunderstood for so many years is humiliating. Pastors talk to you and rebuke you and tell you not to use your spiritual gift. Really? Now what do you do? You must submit to your pastor, but if you bury your spiritual gift in the sand… there’s someone else you’re ticking off, and that’s God. Scripture is very clear that God is ticked off with people who bury their spiritual gift. You are not allowed to do that. You must continue to see error and know the answer, and speak it.

If any of you know someone with the gift of discernment, please don’t despise their gift. It is the least liked gift in the church, but if you don’t listen to that person, or tell them to shut up, it’s like gouging out your eye. Every true church has at least one person with this gift, since God never leaves a church without all the spiritual gifts represented. I dare you to find one that is in your church.

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11 Responses to “The Cursed Gift of Discernment”

  1. Susan Evans says:

    Scripture says people will not like the gift of discernment, but this is why it’s important:
    Proverbs 9:8-9
    Proverbs 12:1
    Proverbs 15:10
    Proverbs 15:31-32
    Proverbs 28:23

    If you yourself have this spiritual gift, you have the obligation to speak the truth in love, and to be gentle in your delivery:
    Colossians 4:6
    Proverbs 15:1
    Proverbs 16:5
    Proverbs 20:9
    However, if you are speaking the truth in love, and the people you are speaking to know that you love them, and they just don’t like what you’re saying, that is not your problem. You have delivered it as best you know how, and that is all that God requires of you. Remember, Scripture says that people with this gift will be hated. So don’t be surprised.

  2. Tim says:

    Hi, yep… I know about this gift cause its one of the ones I have been given by God to me for a reason. People who have the gift of discernment in the church, it’s important for them to grow; to know what’s good & evil. God bless yah.. Bye now..

  3. Kim says:

    I’m pretty sure I have this gift, if not I have the prophetic gift which seems the same. It comes off arrogant but it’s not and it’s really hard to temper it with what people consider to be “kindness.” I dont sugar-coat things, i dont need to but I dont wish for feelings to get hurt. I just hate when people are misunderstanding God or his word. I know I dont know everything, but most people are way off concerning who God is. We need to abandon this hierarchy church system and get back to the way it is supposed to be where people are the instruments of God (NOT just the “Pastor”) and have to grow personally in Him and His word in order to fulfill their roles and build up the body. I dont see anyone using gifts in the church on Sunday. Do you? Are there people with prophecies, tongues, healings, miracles, etc? DO they get a chance during our “gathering together” to exercise said gifts? Or are they all staring at the back of each others heads in silence while one man gives his interpretation of the scriptures?
    NO wonder the “church” is screwed up. But thank God the Bride is still being perfected and called out. We need to get back to the Bible and stop following man-made religion. There is my prophecy for today.

  4. Rebecca says:

    Thank you for the encouraging article! I have been ill treated by many for years due to this gift, but it is like a 6th sense to me and it saddens me when I am shown something and try to warn/inform others and they won’t listen, but the Lord has to be the one to work on their hearts.
    The thing I still have’nt figured out yet though is that I know other people, such as my dad (ex-pastor) who also claim to have the gift of discernment but have the opposite view on many Biblical things than myself. Most claim to know and love truth, but what is really truth if we disagree? One of my main passions is to seek and know truth. Jesus says He is truth so the closer we know him and his character the more we will know the truth 🙂 Blessings!

    • Susan says:

      You grow in your spiritual gift. For example, a person who just came to know the Lord and has not spent a lot of time in Scripture will not always be correct in their thinking, especially with discernment.

      Other people don’t have the gift of discernment but think they have the gift, so they’re wrong in what they say. They have a different gift instead.

      Other times people we think are saved aren’t, and they are just arguing to win arguments. The best thing to do is to walk by the Spirit and study the Word of God.

  5. Carla says:

    Thanks for this article. I try to remember the verses, “tell the truth in love” and to “gently instruct,” but sometimes it seems like some people just don’t hear you unless you state it emphatically.

    Also, some people think “love” means “agree with anything I do and don’t ever criticize.”

    So it can be kind of tough.

  6. Kayla says:

    I don’t have this spiritual gift but I was told that I was supposed to have some kind of discernment. my discernment has been very weak ever since I got saved… it is getting stronger but little by little I don’t know why it is and was so weak though. my sisters in Christ make fun and make comments about it… some elders tell me I should have some kind of discernment… I’ve been trying to figure out why… it makes me feel out of place and it really hurts me because I need to have it for what I am called to do.

  7. Sharon says:

    What do I do though, when my gift of discernment makes me incredibly uncomfortable when I am in the room with someone who I know has a problem (big problem) in a certain area but that person has been entrusted with a position in church? I have not spoken to my pastor about this because he has told me in the past that he has the gift of discernment but he actually put this person in this position. I am afraid if I go to him with my concerns which I cannot prove at this time because nothing physical has occurred that I am aware of, he will shoot me down. I have spent the majority of my life being shot down so I tend to get very gun shy.

    • Susan says:

      I would pray strongly in the Lord about the situation. I would ask the Lord to provide an opportunity to speak to the actual person who is sinning. God has sometimes prompted me to write a letter to the one who is sinning, so that you have their undivided attention. You have to make sure you are guided by the Spirit and rebuke with gentleness as much as possible. I would not tell the pastor about another person’s sin if you have not told the person who is actually sinning first. Matthew 18 commands us to go to the sinning person first.

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