As part of our homeschool curriculum this year, I began reading a book about St. Francis of Assisi. A little ways into it and I was beginning to really wonder if I had made a mistake.
I was reading that St. Francis, at one point, decided he wanted to become a hermit. But praying to God about it, God told him that he should instead go out and preach the gospel.
So I stopped reading and we talked about whether it would be right for a Christian to be a hermit. What might be wrong with that? Well, God made it pretty clear to St. Francis: he wouldn't be able to fulfill the great commission and preach the gospel if he lived a life of isolation. He'd be in disobedience to God.
St. Francis immediately went out and preached the gospel to a flock of birds. He totally missed the point. (Here's a problem with depending on what you "hear" from God, instead of just reading His Word.)
So I stopped reading and we talked about what eternal value there is in preaching the gospel to birds. (None.) Would the birds go to heaven now? Will they be saved now that they've heard the Good News? (No and no just in case you're wondering.)
Next St. Francis went out and rebuked a wolf who had been tormenting the town.
I stopped reading again and we talked about what St. Francis could have done instead that would have had an eternal impact.
It turned out to be a good lesson in biblical discernment. Nevertheless, I don't recommend the book we chose. ;)