News From The Source – Part 17
“My son, let them not depart from your eyes—Keep sound wisdom and discretion; so they will be life to your soul and grace to your neck. Then you will walk safely in your way, and your foot will not stumble.” Proverbs 3:21-23
The reference here is to wisdom and understanding mentioned in verse13. “Let them not depart from your eyes”means to be diligent about reading and studying the Word. We are called to keep learning, keep searching for more of the truth, especially, to preserve, in our hearts, a sense of sound wisdom and discretion.
Discretion — having discernment and good judgment, the ability to choose wisely prompted by an inner witness of truth
If there is a word that accurately describes this present socio-political climate, it’s certainly not discretion. Though some still live by a code of decency and discretion far too many have resorted to the baser, viler and more prurient characteristics of their fallen human nature. That some glibly call for one group of individuals to impose on another group, violence, threats, intimidation, disruption, bullying tactics of rudeness and incivility simply for holding a different set of opinions or values than they, is reprehensible and lacking all personal restraint or decency. These are not people led by sound wisdom or discretion, though some among them even claim to be Christians.
Those who have learned sound wisdom and posses discretion are guided by higher values and a higher set of behavioral attributes. They are led by a respect for God’s Word and they consistently seek to do all that He asks of them.
They are not loud, brash, overbearing or vulgar, they do not insist on their own way. They exercise restraint and self-control no matter what the situation may dictate. They are not given to threatening hyperbole, veiled or overt aggression or the desire to kill steal and destroy. The Scriptures tell us that,
“A good man deals graciously and lends; he will guide his affairs with discretion.” Psalm 112:5
According to Old Testament tradition a man is considered good if he is both discrete and honest in his dealings and is generous to those in need.
“…so they will be life to your soul and grace to your neck…”
Wisdom and discretion give life to our souls. They feed the mind and the body with healthy thoughts and Godly actions. As a necklace adorns the body, so wisdom and discretion bring beauty and adornment to the countenance of those who possess them with grace.
“Then you will walk safely in your way, and your foot will not stumble.”
Wisdom and discretion give us a sense of confidence as we go about our daily living. We walk in the wisdom of the Lord, guided by discretion, which brings us a sense of inner peace and security wherever we are, and we avoid the hidden traps and the little stumbling blocks that would trip us up, because the Lord reveals them to us.
Throughout our day we are bombarded with thoughts, with visual and audial stimulations designed to distract us, to temp us and draw us away from following the ways of our Lord Jesus Christ, but through wisdom and discretion theses things are revealed to us for what they really are, the works of darkness. We therefore by the power of the Holy Spirit working in us, choose wisely to avoid them, to turn from them and follow Christ.
In doing so we are constantly being renewed with life and the adornment of grace enhances the appearance of our face before all mankind.