I was a small child, I was given an embroidered handkerchief with
the words, "Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding
shall keep thee." Prov. 2:11
At that time, I didn't comprehend
what the word discretion meant. So, the big dictionary was
pulled down from the shelf and I began to look-up the big word. The
dictionary defined it:" the quality of being tactful."
As I grew older, I later found that the Latin root of descretion
means discernment or differentiating. This would be associated with
the word "discernment." and discernment means to: examine,
scrutinize, question, investigate; to test or prove , so as to
Therefore, a discreet person will
weigh a matter carefully before making a choice. This would be just
the opposite of impulsiveness or, as our society puts it; "let
it all hang out" or "tell it like it is."
As a child, I did not completely
understand the meaning of the word, discretion."
Children have to be taught how to be discreet. It must be developed.
Even as adults, discretion must be developed if we are to possess
the Christian character that the Scripture teaches. The quality of
discretion separates the mature Christian from the immature
A story is told about an old
missionary that had gone to a tribe of Indians and had won several
of them to Christ. One day one of the Indians was talking with the
missionary and said, "Missionary, it is hard. It is hard to
live for Christ. I know that I have Christ in me, but it is still so
hard." The old Indian began to explain the best way he
could about what was taking place inside of him. "Inside me
lives white dog, and also inside me lives black dog. Black dog is
the old me who wants to do bad things. White dog is the Spirit of
God inside me. He wants to do God's things. The white dog and the
black dog, they fight all the time. White dog wants to do right;
black dog wants to do wrong."
The missionary said, "Well, who
usually wins the fight, the white dog or the black dog? The old
Indian answered, "Whichever one me feed the most."
That is so true. Feed on the Word of
God and we will find that the Word will help us to mature and use
discretion for each choice we make. In making correct choices, we
shall be kept from many catastrophes of life.
The Scripture tell us in Proverbs
3:13, "Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man
that getteth understanding."
The Bible portrays for us characters
that made discreet choices. These choices were made because each one
of them knew their God and wanted to please Him in all their
ways. There's Moses' choice of his people rather than the
riches of Egypt. There's Joseph's choice in the prison house of
Potiphar, and Daniel's choice of the king's vegetables rather than
the king's meat. Paul made a choice to cast his lot with the early
Christians. The decisions these men made revealed moral purpose and
exposed the class of things a man chooses or avoids. Their choices
were made with much discretion. Certainly, in each case, discretion
preserved them and because of understanding of God's ways, they were
kept from evil.
As we learn God's ways from God's
Word and daily communicate with our Heavenly Father, we will
begin to use discretion in all our choices. That's part of Christian