Very often, we confuse discerning a teaching, a prophesying, or an action with judging the person’s motive. 1 Cor 14:29 (NASB) says, “Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment.”; AMP says, “So let two or three prophets speak [those inspired to preach or teach], while the rest pay attention and weigh and discern what is said.”; NET says “Two or three prophets should speak and the others should evaluate what is said.”.
To judge, to weigh, to evaluate, and to discern, in these cases, are similar to assessing the nature, importance, meaning, of what’s spoken.
I love AMP’s emphasis on “paying attention”. Before we “discern” a teaching, we need to listen attentively with humility. We need to also avoid making the mistake of judging one’s motive instead of the teaching. Sometimes, others may say something that is too “stupid” to you, or too “honest” to you, or too “ridiculous” for you, yet if they speak it sincerely, you should not judge their hearts.
Read this article by Frank Viola, Judge vs. Judge Not – Which is It?.