Read 1 Kings 3:8-9
"And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?"
A lack of understanding can cause a great deal of embarrassment. President Coolidge once invited some friends from Vermont to dine at the White House. They were worried about their table manners, so they decided to do everything their host did. All went well until coffee was served. Coolidge poured part of his into the saucer. The guests did the same. The president then added sugar and cream. So did the visitors. Finally Coolidge leaned over and placed his saucer on the floor for the cat!
King Solomon was faced with something more serious than a simple faux pas. He would be responsible for the lives of millions of people. His decisions would create a ripple effect that would reach well beyond the borders of his own land. His wisdom, or lack of it, would bring either prosperity or ruin to the entire nation. Therefore, it is understandable why he felt an overwhelming need for a heart that could correctly assess a situation and distinguish between good and evil.
This need is still very real for you and me today. Even though we may not wield quite the influence of Solomon, the decisions we make certainly affect our family, our work and, through exercising the privilege of voting, our community, state and nation. When pooled with other believers, we influence far more than our family; we can change our country. That makes it imperative for us to seek an understanding heart from God as well.
The Book of Proverbs urges, "And in all your getting, get understanding" (4:7). Ask God to give you an understanding heart, especially when it comes to decisions that affect your family, your church and your country. Acknowledge your inability to always distinguish good from evil, and seek God's discernment instead.
Discernment begins with God.