Discerning: True or False
Rev. Ted Kang
I have a very nice watch that I received as a wedding gift from my in-laws. One day, I spotted the same watch being sold for no more than $40 in one of the night markets of Bangkok. It had a remarkable resemblance to the genuine watch that I own, down to the smallest details. Most people wouldn’t have been able to discern the fake from the real thing. But it didn’t take long for me to know that it was a well-crafted counterfeit. The weight was off. The hue and the texture of the dial was ever so slightly too dull. The complex engraving on the back case was exactly the same as the one I had, but its depth was deceptively shallow. If the watch was any other brand or model, it would’ve been impossible for me to know it was a knock-off. But I was able to tell almost instantly because I had worn my watch for the last 20 years and had come to know it by heart.
The challenge of discerning falsehood from truth is that both look equally convincing and real on the surface. Those who are experts in recognizing a counterfeit have been trained not by studying counterfeits, but by carefully studying the real thing. The same is true with things of the spiritual nature. There are people who spend an exhaustive amount of time researching false doctrines and practices of faith. But the only sure way to know the truth is to really KNOW the truth. Satan will always present us with counterfeit beliefs that are nearly indistinguishable from the truth of God. Spiritual discernment comes not from instantaneous impartation of anointing, but from intentional and persistent abiding in the truth, meaning: know and walk in the truth. There is no magical shortcut. It is a gift not to be acquired but to be developed.
- What are some subtle lies that you have believed about yourself, about God, and about this world?
- How are you intentionally developing the gift of discernment daily?
- Who are the people in your life who can discern with you in matters of eternal significance?