When 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 decide.

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 Christian.

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 character. 

 



 

God, open my eyes 
So I may see
And feel Your Presence
Close to me...
Give me strength
For my stumbling feet
As I battle the crowd
On life's busy street,
And widen the vision
Of my unseeing eyes
So in passing faces
I'll recognize
Not just a stranger
unloved and unknown,
But a friend with a heart
that is much like my own...
Give me perception
to make me aware
That scattered profusely
on life's thoroughfare
Are the best Gifts of God
that we daily pass by
As we look at the world
with an Unseeing Eye.

_Helen Steiner Rice_

 




Our strength is shown in the things we stand for;
Our weakness is shown in the things we fall for.


 

People of genius are admired;
People of wealth are envied;
People of power are feared;
  But only people of character 
are trusted.

 

 

 

 

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