The very essence of deception is that you don’t know when you are in it. Discernment is the ability to see through the sin. Meaning you are able to understand that this action is going to produce this result BEFORE you do the action.
True Story: A man was stopped at a red light. The lady next to him smiled and winked at him, then signaled for him to follow her. That man ended up sleeping with that lady. That one single act/choice cost that man his wife and kids and a life-time of regret, pain, misery and tears. If only that man could have exercised discernment and seen all the many lonely nights. If only he could have seen himself crying himself to sleep or crying every time he had to say good-bye to his precious daughters after his weekend visits. Do you think he would have ever followed that lady back to her place? No, he lacked discernment. The ability to SEE THROUGH THE SIN.
Unfortunately our teenagers are put at a great disadvantage, because the frontal lobe of the brain is the last part of the brain to develop, which is the part of the brain that contains the discernment brain cells. These brain cells are our discernment brain cells. This fact explains a lot about why teenagers do some of the things they do. You parents of teenagers know what I’m talking about. Those times that you look at your teenager after a particular lame brain idea that they carried out and you say, “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING???” Well they probably weren’t thinking, because their discernment brain cells aren’t fully developed until age 25. So in an effort to help my teens overcome this brain cell deficit, I printed out these questions and taped them on the wall in front of the toilet, so every time they sat on the “throne” they were faced with questions that would help increase their discernment:
Questions to Ponder:
1. Does this decision show respect for God? Respect for others? Respect for self?
2. Will this choice benefit my reputation?
3. Will it build a record of trust?
4. Will it have negative or positive long term consequences?
5. How will this decision or behavior impact my family, my friends or my future?
I also had another set of questions that I used for punishments when my first set of questions failed me and they showed a lack of discernment:
Behavior Questions to Answer When One Shows a Lack of Discernment/Character
1. What did I do wrong?
2. Why was it wrong?
3. How should I address the situation?
4. What is the root sin that I need to consider?
(Note: Please write one full page for each of these questions.)