From: Amy Stroup
"But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” Hebrews 5.14
My sophomore year in college I took several different Bible classes: Spiritual Formation, Christian Thought and Old Testament were all in the mix. I remember going home that summer and feeling quite proud of all my knowledge. During the break, I was eagerly looking for opportunities to get into conversations about Biblical Theology; I just knew that I could help all my naive friends and family come to a better understanding of correct interpretation and solid exegesis. I am literally laughing out loud to myself as I type this. I was so confident and sure of myself at the time! Looking back, it’s pretty clear that my powers of discernment had not yet been honed to a place of maturity. Rest assured, by the time my senior year rolled around I realized I knew nothing.
Today I am challenged by this scripture to commit myself to a constant practice of discernment. Although I am no longer that pious sophomore, looking for opportunities to share my knowledge, I am struck by the simple call to be aware of the good and evil that is happening around me. As Mark preached a few weeks ago, our younger generation is not the only one being bombarded and influenced by our culture. We are all hit with this powerful force on a daily basis and we have to be intentional about reorienting our lives and our hearts towards Christ. Going against the culture of today is hard work. And, it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between good and evil as our culture distorts the truth. I think the writer of Hebrews is making a bold claim that spiritual discernment is something we cannot do on our own, thus making it essential to commit to a constant [daily] practice of allowing the Holy Spirit to transform our hearts and minds. In other words, it's not something we can get better at or perfect over time.
As we step into this season of catechesis as a Church family, my prayer is that we can come to a greater understanding of how deeply God loves us and what it means to live a life that operates out of that truth.
I have spent the last 8 years living with my family in a community for international students in Boston. We have recently moved to East Boston and are still trying to figure out what life looks like apart from living in such a large community. I work as the Director of Development for the International Fellowship House and I spend a lot of time driving my kids around.