April 14, 2012
Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Ephesians 5:8-10
People have a hard time discerning what is best.
I can recall when, a good number of years ago, a young couple came into my office for pre-marital counseling.
Although the young man had been in church, he had never established a relationship with a pastor and he certainly had never been in a pastor's office.
To put it mildly, he was nervous. No, make that he was petrified.
Seeing his discomfort, I didn't rush into the interview. Instead, I made small talk for a few minutes during which time I tried to put him at ease. Eventually, we had to begin.
It was then I realized my "small talk" hadn't done a very good job of relaxing him. The first question which was asked should have been a simple one. Goodness, it was a simple one. I asked the future groom: "Are you entering this marriage of your own free will."
His pause was painful to watch.
Finally, the young man's fiancée looked at him, and in a tone of disappointment mixed with intense dissatisfaction, she whispered, "Tell him, 'Yes.'" So much for his own free will.
I've often wondered how that couple is doing. All I can say is, on that day, he hadn't discerned what was the best answer to give.
There are times when we don't do much better. The Lord tells us to do one thing, but the other thing -- the worldly thing -- looks so much better. Then there are times when there is a choice to be made ... and one of those choices is obviously righter ... and God pleasing.
What do we do?
Sadly, tragically, because of our old, sinful nature, we still often make the wrong choice, walk the wrong road and set our foot to walk the easy path.
Maybe that's why Paul encourages those who know the Redeemer to discern what is best and what is most pleasing to the Lord and, then, having made the proper discernment, act upon it. It is my belief if we proceeded the way the apostle instructed, our lives would be less complicated and a whole lot happier.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant me a spirit of discernment and a spirit of obedience. May I know and do that which pleases You. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries