This blog post is part of the series from the Spiritual Formation team walking through The Anatomy of a Disciple. This post will give you a brief snapshot of what it means to be Morally Discerning.
Growing up I felt like God laid out this set of rules that I needed to follow or He would be angry and punish me. That I should not lie because lying is bad. That I should not say or watch certain things because those things are bad. Then I would enter into this game of being obedient to the letter of those laws, secretly wishing I was free to do what my heart was drawn to do. What I didn’t fully grasp was that each of my outward actions flowed from my heart. (Proverbs 4:23)
Being morally discerning always flows from the story we believe to be true about life. But it doesn’t end with belief. It always ends in actions, based on the story we believe. Over and over again, Scripture warns about making certain types of choices because they lead to consequences of disharmony with God’s design, and the fracturing of relationships with others and His created world.
As I was growing up, I still believed a wrong story. I was still motivated to make moral decisions based on fear, not trust. I failed to grasp the full picture that my heavenly Father was good, and desired the best for my life and for peace among people.
Being morally discerning is believing that the truth of the gospel speaks to every area of my life. It is believing that I must have my mind renewed to see sexuality, business, what I view and listen to, how I speak - all from an understanding that I am a new creature in Christ. That I live in a new kingdom under a new king who wants me to live what He calls abundant life, free from things that would get in the way of that.
So Jesus challenges us. In His kingdom:
- Sex was designed for the context of marriage and outside of that context, it leads to complexity and confusion… What or who do we believe really fulfills us? (Jeremiah 2:13)
- When we lie, we are saying that having that person’s approval is more important than Jesus. Or what we get from lying is more of a savior to us than Jesus… What do our moral actions say saves us? (Matt. 5:33-37)
- We all worship something. Either it will be the creator or the created things… What do our moral choices say we worship? (Romans 1:23-25)
The King we choose determines the story of life we will believe, which translates to the everyday moral choices we make… Each choice we make points back to who we trust in. God help our hearts to discern every choice in our life through the lens of the Gospel. (Luke 6:47-49)