Discernment is basically a wisdom to make the correct decisions, and ability to see people for who they really are. As Christians, where do we get that type of wisdom? The Bible indicates that it is possible to have discernment and also states that it is a Spiritual Gift.
Discernment is the ability to tell if those that say they are of God, are really teaching the truth . If more people could have accessed this spiritual gift in their lives, they would have never blindly followed false teachers such as Jim Jones. Jim Jones had had followers that left their homes and families to follow him. Ultimately they made the final decision to follow him in mass suicide...a decision that took the lives of hundreds in one fatal swoop.
When someone tries to replace what you know the scriptures to teach, when they encourage you to follow them instead of what the Bible says...or when they encourage you to do things that are in direct opposition to what you know in your heart is true - this is when having discernment is vital. It could be the difference between life and death.
Use discernment everyday in every situation...in the little things, so that if a day should come when you need it in those monumental decisions...you can be confident in making the correct choice.
Develop Spiritual discernment by knowing what the Scriptures say .... let them live deep in your heart and mind. If a fork in the road is in your future, rely on the wisdom that has been developed so that you can have confidence your choice will be correct.