God is all wisdom; in Christ are to be found “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”.
Our union with Christ is daily growing us in wisdom which is dependence upon the One who is wisdom.
|WIDSOM||“Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:2-3||Discernment
In our communities then, we will firstly encourage a Christ-dependence. We will also seek to develop discernment, understanding and insight. We will do all that we can to ensure that the growth of our students’ knowledge and understanding is applied with as much wisdom as possible.
Discernment can have a negative connotation – it can suggest that we are constantly watching out for what is wrong. We should, and must, critique error, but discernment needs to have a major positive focus. It needs to help us to see truth and rejoice in it. It needs to recognise goodness and justice and mercy and grace. It needs to inform our positive relationship with others and with creation.
Our discernment needs to be applied with Biblical criteria and humility, but there is another factor which will help to prevent us becoming coldly judgemental.
John Piper calls this “discernment by desire”.
Recalling where we began in this series, desire shapes most of our choices. If we have disciplined our desires to reflect the very nature of God, then the choices that we make out of our desire and delight, should come close to God’s desire and delight.
For our young people we need them to know the criteria by which they engage in discernment, and have hearts and desires progressively shaped by the habits of Christian community and the Spirit of God. Understanding is the ability to apply knowledge to new situations in thoughtful and considered ways. As we, and our students, grow in our relationship with God, then greater degrees of wisdom will begin to influence us. We must provide lots of opportunities for our students to use their knowledge in new situations in wise ways.
Insight suggests the ability to understand deeply and truthfully; this applies both to people and situations. Insight is wisdom which is always applied relationally to every situation and is more intuitive, or holistic, than simply intellectual analysis.
Blessings as you point to God’s wisdom,
 John Piper Discernment by Desire