“That your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent…” – Philippians 1:9-10a
As the apostle says in v.9, “love” is not to “abound” on its own, but is to be characterised by knowledge and discernment. Biblical, Christian love is not something unwise in the things of God, nor is it a blind love. No, Christian love is rooted in “knowledge”, or we might say, it has its anchor in God’s revealed Word, Holy Scripture! Therefore, as God’s people, we must read His Word and listen to the preaching of that Word. The Holy Spirit uses it to strengthen our faith, deepen our convictions and increase our love for God and each other.
Along with “knowledge”, Paul says, there’s also to be “discernment”. This refers to the ability to discern the good from the bad. But the apostle takes that even further. For the Christian is not only to judge between the good and the bad in one’s life but also between what is good and what is excellent! He says in v.10, “that you may approve the things that are excellent…” Thus, as we grow in the Faith, the choices we make in life ought to reflect more thoughtfulness and maturity. For things we would have said or done in the past, we wouldn’t do now because we’ve grown in godly wisdom, “in knowledge and all discernment”.
Yes, there are many things in life that are good, but as discerning Christians, we’re called to desire after the things that are “excellent”!
Suggestions for prayer
Let us pray for an abounding love, characterised by knowledge and discernment for our families and the church. Let us pray for growing discernment that we might approve of the excellent things and strive after them.
Rev. Merwin serves as minister of the Immanuel United Reformed Church of Listowel, Ontario, Canada. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.