Philippians 1:9-11 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Knowledge and discernment are not the same. To be discerning is to make wise assessments based upon ones knowledge of scripture. Discernment is the ability to judge right from wrong and truth from error.
The Apostle prayed that the Philippian’s love would be informed by the scriptures and that their knowledge would lead them to love the right things and to express their love in the right ways.
Sadly, among Christians today there is a stunning lack of discernment. Even more shocking is that the utter inability to judge right from wrong and truth from error is often justified in the name of love! These people feel that in order to protect love, they must compromise truth. In reality, by compromising truth, they’ve destroyed true love.
The Bible says that “God is love” (1 John 4:8). Only He can define what love is and how it should be exercised. Because it is possible to love the wrong things and to love in the wrong way, we must gain the knowledge of what God has said about love, and be discerning in how to apply it.
True love is not naïve. It does not push aside truth or righteousness in order to love. Instead it lovingly leads people to truth and righteousness. In such cases, pointing out sin and error is the loving thing to do. This idea is lost on those who hold to a naïve, sentimental love. Their problem is that their idea of love is not coupled with knowledge or discernment.
The above is an excerpt from Pastor Rick’s study through the book of Philippians