Jesus-in-Gethsemane

Suffering evil trains you to discern between good and evil

In Hebrews 5.14, we read: “But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”

Discernment sounds like a valuable ability. So what does it take? How does one get trained?

We are given the answer throughout the book, but the most close connection is made in Hebrews 12.11, which is the only other place in the book that word is used:

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it (Hebrews 12:7-11 ESV).

Hebrews tells us Jesus “learned obedience through what he suffered.” It seems he learned discernment as well.

One thought on “Suffering evil trains you to discern between good and evil

  1. Peter Krol

    Great questions! I appreciate your insight connecting Hebrews 5 and 12.

    As for the question “how does one get trained,” does not Heb 5.14 itself answer for us one’s powers of discernment are trained “by constant practice”?

    In other words, we certainly need the disciplining hand of our father to lead us to bear the peaceful fruit of righteousness. But then we must practice what he taught us again and again until it sinks in and becomes second nature.

    What do you think?

    Reply

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