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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Discern (08/12/10)

TITLE: The Gift of Discernment
By Phee Paradise


1 Corinthians 12:10
He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. (NLT)


Beverly has the gift of discernment. She says it gives her the ability to see truth in a person’s words and life. When she meets someone who claims to be a Christian, she can tell whether they are a faker or a liar and she can tell a true believer from an agnostic or atheist. Because she is a nurse, she can also sometimes discern medical problems not apparent to others.

Her church appointed the son of a pastor to handle its finances. As soon as Beverly met him, she told her husband, “He’s the wrong dude.” Several years later the pastor sadly told the congregation that the finance person had embezzled $160,000 from the church.

Another time, while sitting in the choir, she saw a growth under the skin on the neck of a man sitting near her. Her husband didn’t see anything, but she knew the man had a cancerous tumor and started praying for him. Weeks later, he told the choir that he had a benign tumor and the doctor said it would go away on its own.

Beverly doesn’t know why God chose to give her this gift, but she knows its purpose. He has given it to her so she can pray in the Spirit for the people or situation she has discerned. She never shares the knowledge she receives with anyone except her husband. And she only tells him so that he can help her understand if what she has seen is from God or is her own human vision. She knows she’s not here to judge others and she never looks for the gift.

“It can’t be me, because it’s never been wrong. It eventually comes out,” Beverly says.

Sick people she has been praying for reveal their illness to others – and sometimes that they have been healed. People she discerns are not truly serving God, but rather looking to their own interests, are eventually exposed. But it’s not always good news. When people in the church choir began getting sick, and some even dying from things like cancer, she discerned that there was disobedience in the church.

Beverly’s gift, is always used within the church. All of the stories she told me were about people in a church she attended. I Peter 4:10 says the gifts of the Spirit are given to us to serve each other. Beverly uses hers to pray for the Body of Christ. She trusts the Spirit to tell her how to pray and she obeys with confidence in His leading.

She smiles when she tells me, “The Holy Spirit never led me where I wasn’t supposed to go.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
AnneRene' Capp 08/19/10
Discernment, definitely a "gift" to edify the body of Christ. Encouraging to hear of other brothers and sisters who walk in it with the confidence of knowing their Master's voice.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/20/10
This is well-written and very interesting. I've never thought of discernment quite the way you explained it. Many things make more sense to me now. Thank you for sharing the story.