(Proverbs 2:9 KJV) Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.
We have the other side of an if/then construction. Here it is a when/then construction. When God guards, then we can “understand" (discern NASB) (995). So many of God’s promises are conditional. We ignore that at our peril. Go back far enough and you come to the expectation that we will be walking in the paths of integrity and that we will be upright.
Many people think they want to discern. Usually what we really want are simple answers so we don’t need to wrestle with the complexities of life. That is why we buy self-help books on everything from investing to exercise. Give me three simple steps to financial independence. Give me the five keys to losing weight while I eat what I want. Explain to me the four spiritual laws. I like simple answers. In reality I am aware that life is not easy. Discernment is not a pill; it is a result of discipline.
Notice that here we are not discerning knowledge but “righteousness” (6664), “justice” (4941), “equity” (4339) and a “good” (2896a) “course” (4570). Discernment does not require formal education but spiritual acuity. Don’t be impressed with college degrees and certificates. Notice how many bumper stickers there are declaring how children are honor students. They are cheap to print and easy to distribute. Spiritual acuity is open to everyone no matter how many years of school you have had.
So? Are you in the “if” stage or the “when” stage? Have you don’t your homework? If not, start building a foundation today. Read, think, listen, pray. Are you further down the road? Then make decisions and act in such a way that applies what you have learned. Remember, we are supposed to be the salt of the earth, not the tofu. We are to season, not be seasoned.