PASTOR'S PEN: Please discriminate

Normally when we think of discrimination we think of those who treat someone of a different race unfairly.  We picture a person characterizing another based on his or her skin color rather than their character.  We go back to Jim Crow laws where states, by law, forced a restaurant to put in a 7-foot wall and two doors with blacks on one side and whites on the other or made it unlawful for a black person and a white person to play billiards together.  These unjust laws were rampant at one time and some of the sentiment of those days carries into the minds of either race, holding both hostage.

However, this is not the type of discrimination of which I am talking.  That type has tainted the word ‘discriminate’.  It has made it into an evil, wicked word when, it fact, discrimination is something we do each day.  Every day I wake up and go to my kitchen.  I choose eggs or pancakes.  I decide between oatmeal and cereal.  I even decide which kind of oatmeal or cereal I want.  I discriminate between them.  I realize they are each different and I decide which I desire that day because of that difference.

Discrimination in its original context means the “recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another” (a Google definition).  This isn’t only something we do each day, but is a necessity.  When you arrive at a traffic light you must discriminate between a red light and a green light.  You must discriminate between the meanings of each color on that traffic light.  If you determine that red is go and the other person determines that red is stop then we have a problem.  There must be a recognizable difference.  We must discriminate.

The Bible also tells us to discriminate.  Galatians 5:16-26 is a prime example of this.  We are told in there to “live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.  For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.  They are in conflict with each other…”  It even goes so far as to say that “the acts of the sinful nature are obvious.”  We should be able to identify what is sinful and what is not, what is from God and what is not.  And we are to discriminate between them.

If you are unsure of what is sinful and what is not, read the Word of God.  He spells it out.  I encourage you to be in God’s Word.  Start with Galatians if you like and find out what God’s Word says.  And then discriminate.  Decide to follow the Spirit so you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature so that you can glorify your Father in heaven.