Monday, November 23, 2009

Critical Interception

" ... asking God to fill you with the knowledge
of his will through all spiritual wisdom
and understanding ... in order that you
may live a life worthy of the Lord ...
growing in the knowledge of God ...
For he has rescued us from the dominion of
darkness and brought us into the kingdom
of the Son he loves ... "
Colossians 1:9-14 (parts)

Knowledge - the fact or condition of knowing something; acquaintance with or understanding of; being aware.

- accumulated philosophic learning; knowledge; ability to discern inner qualities and relationships; insight; good sense.

Discernment/Understanding - the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure; skill in discerning.
Just yesterday I was having a discussion with someone that was, to say the least, hot under the collar about something done to them. It was both a real and a perceived injustice; their name besmirched by another. Feathers filled the air.
The angst and indignation was a familiar refrain: a justified (and justifiable) complaint had been lodged against the errant party - their nemesis. How could they?!! The very hearing of it stung, mostly because I've worn both sets of shoes. You know: fire, ready, aim!
Pondering the matter further, the whole concept of discernment versus wisdom gripped me. Could it be that I can have all the facts (knowledge), and even the tincture of wisdom, but altogether miss the greater meaning because of a lack of discernment?

I think so.
Solomon himself makes such a good object-lesson on is this subject! Smart and wise beyond compare; and without equal - but he just didn't get it on some level!

By itself, information is ... well ... just information. Until it's filtered (the scientists are bound to shoot me for that one) through wisdom's sieve it's often dry, disjointed.

Moreover, unless the two - knowledge + wisdom - congeal with discernment, they are very likely to give rise to wrong conclusions. The bottom line then becomes suspect. Wrong placement = wrong conclusions, a wrong bottom line (the accountants in our midst will nod their approval). Feathers, feathers everywhere!

Remember, it's me I'm talking about here. I know none of you would do such a thing.

I could say so much here and, quite likely, you could too - - thoughts on gossip, or in dealing with one's enemies, or how best to handle conflict ...
Or _ _ _ _ _

But today I'm thinking about something Oswald Chambers has to say on the matter. It's something I need to hear, and hear again, and again, and again. It calls on me to take the high road where knowledge is concerned; a road made straight and firm only with discernment.

God never gives us discernment
so that we may criticize,
but that we may intercede.
Oswald Chambers


Shirley said...

Oh my! That's a good one! Ouch! ;)

Beth E. said...

That Oswald is one smart fellow...that's a great quote. Thanks for sharing it!


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

"Feathers filled the air..."; now that's a visual I completely "get." How many turkeys have been plucked on behalf of my "feather-flying" moments?!

I've got some knowledge; I certainly like to think I've got some wisdom as well, but having those merge into discernment and prayer...

well, I'm working on it all! If I could just find my way from underneath all the feathers that are upon me right now.

Happy Thanksgiving, Sassy. Much love to you and yours as you work on that tree and on your thanks.


Deborah Ann said...

I have been practicing keeping my mouth shut. It's hard to do when you have that knowledge of an injustice. Let the feathers fall where they may, eh?

Rose said...

OH NO, I have never done that....OK well maybe more times than I care to admit too. Oswald Chambers goes straight to the heart of the matter and sometimes makes me wince. Thanks for the reminder to be more discerning and even more merciful! Hugs

Stephen Tremp said...

Thanks for your inspirational blog. I can always use wisdom and discernment. Have a great holiday.

Stephen Tremp

LisaShaw said...

so well said and I better flagged this message so that I may return to it when my feathers start flying :)

Knowledge, wisdom, discernment and prayer = a balanced Christian.

Love you and Happy Thanksgiving.

Together We Save said...


Happy Thanksgiving

sonja said...

Yikes! Oh, those feathers!!! Good words!

Denise said...

Great post sweetie, enjoy your thanksgiving.

christy rose said...

Oh Wow! So true! God did not give us discernment to sit in judgment but to pray!!! That is good Kathleen!

Diana said...

Enjoyed the post! Those "feathers" will get you if you are not careful and wise.

Loren said...


what an amazing post.....a few feathers have been flying here as well ....I am thankful for knowing that when the feathers fly that I have to look within and hear the Holy Spirit because it is almost always HIM tapping on my shoulder asking me to look within!
To forgive an injustice, to release a judgement, to heal a wound. Yes OSWALDs words are VERY wise!! just like the WORD ~ may we put them all into practice!!

What a wonderful post Kathleen! Bless you my friend