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Discerning Thirty-Six-Year-Olds

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You are thirty-six. Your life is about half over, based on average human lifespans. If you are a singer, you might be just entering your prime. If you are an athlete, your prime is probably a fading memory. If you are in the business world you may be starting over, riding the wave, or somewhere in the middle. If you are a parent, you may be in despair, or you may be experiencing the joy of seeing your children follow Christ. But no matter what your situation, there is still one quality that you must have in increasing measure: discernment! Recall this simple definition:

Discernment is seeing the difference between good and bad – or good and best – so I know what to do to please God.

Discernment is a wisdom skill. Skills, by nature, are designed to be practiced. Honing the skill of discernment is a life-long endeavor, and one element of discernment is to learn to ask questions—specifically, questions that help reveal what is good by God’s standard, not what is good in your opinion. Guard your heart, asking what God says is good—what will please Him, before you ask what is good for you. Proverbs 4:23 says:

Above all else, guard your heart,

For everything you do flows from it.

At thirty-six, are you guarding your heart, or are you indulging it? How much conscious thought do you give to pursuing what is good, what pleases God, in your life? Have you become despondent at your repeated failures? Or, even worse, have you become complacent with your relative goodness (as you compare yourself to other people)?

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