A highly skilled basketball player with a great shot will tell you that he knows whether or not the ball is going in the basket, the second the ball leaves his or her hand. This is because the player has shot enough good shots and bad shots to easily feel the difference between the two.
A good shot has a distinct rhythm, motion, and feel. The player can discern whether or not he was on balance. He can discern whether or not the timing between the motion of his body parts were in sync, or out of sync. He knows exactly how a good shot should feel as it rolls off his finger tips during the release. Practicing the right thing helps him to know when he has done the right thing, but it also helps him to make corrections when the shot was off. The constant use of correct shooting form helps him to instantly distinguish between a good shot and a bad shot, until a good shot becomes an automatic good habit that comes naturally.
Distinguishing Through Constant Use
The Bible says in Hebrews 5:14, “but solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish between good and evil.” This works a lot like a basketball player, who through constant shooting, has trained himself to distinguish between a good shot and a bad shot before it ever leaves his hand. We can apply this same concept to our thought lives and choices in life. The Bible tells us what to think, and how we should think. When we think right, it will produce the fruit of the Spirit; especially love, joy, and peace. Those who have constantly used the truth of God’s Word to distinguish between good thoughts, and impure thoughts and motives; they are going to recognize the difference between the two, not only in the content of their thought life, but also in the result that it produces in their hearts. They will quickly discern when their thoughts are on track if they are experiencing love, joy, peace, and actions that correspond to Godly living. Likewise, they will quickly discern when their thoughts are off track if they experience hatred towards others, anxiety, and depressed, hopeless thoughts.
A Good Habit
Our goal is to constantly practice right thoughts and right choices until it becomes an automatic good habit that comes naturally. To do this will be challenging, but it is a challenge that anyone who is sincere about their faith should accept, and a goal that we should all aspire to.