When Love Requires Discernment

by Cherrilynn Bisbano

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.  Philippians 1:9-10 ESV

“She needs you to back off.”

My friend Lisa had called to discuss our mutual friend Mary.

“Mary throws this party every year. She is too afraid to say anything to you. She loves you and does not want to hurt your feelings.”

 My heart broke as Lisa shared.

I was new to the church and wanted to serve. Lisa and I became instant friends. She introduced me to Mary. Mary lived close to me and was sweet and kind. Mary and I decided to plan a get together at her house. She was eager for me to help. Little did I know she orchestrated a party every year.

 Being a zealous party planner and wanting to fit in and carry my load, I called her to offer ideas and assistance. The next Sunday we brainstormed party ideas after church. The following week I called her to discuss the details of the upcoming gathering. She seemed hesitant about my ideas and rushed me off the phone. I was confused and wondered if I had done something to offend her.

 Are we planning this together?

After my phone conversation with Lisa, and much prayer, I realized my motive was to be admired and accepted. I never inquired about Mary’s ability to plan a party. I assumed she needed me to take on more responsibility.

I picked up the Bible and through tears of repentance I researched verses on love.

God poured his love into my heart. (Romans 5:5) I need to love like Jesus and think of others more highly than myself. (Philippians 2:1-4). As I read Philippians 1:9-10, my inner-being felt a piercing. I prayed my love for others would abound, and I asked God for His discernment is all situations, especially with Mary,

I called her and apologize for my selfishness and pride. She apologized for not speaking with me first. We prayed together and committed to honesty in our relationship.

The party was wonderful. We sang, ate great food, and praised God. Mary and I are still great friends. Lisa too.

The evil one desired us to remain in unspoken hurt and pain, placing an unseen wall between us. But when love meets discernment, the fruit of God’s glory and righteousness is revealed, walls are destroyed, and love prevails.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

Shine Don't Whine

About the author: Cherrilynn Bisbano is an award-winning writer in both fiction and non-fiction. She is a coach, ghostwriter, editor, and speaker. You can find her published in several online magazines and blogs along with books.  Her latest book, Shine Don’t Whine, released in October 2020. Cherrilynn proudly served in the Navy and Air National Guard. She lives with her son, Michael, Jr., and husband of 22 years. Cherrilynn loves Christ, chocolate, coffee, and cats. You will often find her on the beach sea glass hunting.

Join the conversation: When did you need discernment? Please share!


2 thoughts on “When Love Requires Discernment

  1. Great devo, Cherrilynn! I’ve used this passage where the translation is “wisdom” rather than discernment. I loved this fresh perspective. Thanks for being so transparent.


  2. Cherrilynn, thank you so much for your vulnerable sharing. Your humility reminds us just because we have a skill doesn’t mean we need to use it at every opportunity. And also to ask questions first and don’t assume. I can get in trouble quickly because I assume I know too much. So thank you!


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