Ignorance is not something of which to be proud. After seeing that she was running low on cash, Ms. Ignorance decided to go into the handyman business. She rang the doorbell at one house, and a man answered. Ms. Ignorance offered to help with any work the man needed at his house. She would charge $50/hour.

The man thought for a moment, and then he asked Ms. Ignorance to paint his back porch. He told her all of the supplies were in the garage.

An hour later, Ms. Ignorance stood at the man’s doorstep with paintbrush in hand. She was done and had applied two coats of paint. The surprised man took out his wallet and paid Ms. Ignorance $50. “How did you finish so fast? The porch wraps all the way around the back of the house.”

Ms. Ignorance answered, “Sir, you obviously don’t know anything about cars. That’s not a Porsche; it’s a Ferrari.” She didn’t get it.

Like Ms. Ignorance, sometimes we just don’t get it when it comes to spiritual maturity. For years, we may go through the same Bible studies, attend the same churches, and hear the same teachers without growing in our understanding of life and our unique, God-given purpose. One of the telltale signs of a maturing Christian is growth in spiritual discernment. This gives him or her the perspective to penetrate the surface of life and see things as they really are.

Have you been judging troubling circumstances and people by the way they appear from the surface? Pray for discernment to see beneath the external appearance or actions to the essence — the motives, the heart, the underlying causes. You will often find there is more than meets the eye. Handle it with prayer. Don’t live in ignorance of the essence, or you will miss an opportunity for ministry.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.