Guided By Discretion

August 17, 2012

Guided By Discretion

    “When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:  To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;  Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths”  (Proverbs 2:10-15).

In this article we aren’t going to make any distinction between wisdom and discretion.  Salomon used the word “wisdom” in verse 10.  There is little difference between the two words.  Discretion is the ability to make wise decisions.  Fortunate is the one who has that ability.  In spite of what some may think, it isn’t something we are born with.  Our text says it is something that has to enter into our heart.

Our heart and mind need to be open if wisdom is to enter in.  Then it takes something more.  We can’t take nourishment only by opening our mouth.  We have to have something to put into our mouth.  Perhaps we have to work to be able to buy food.  Most often it needs to be prepared.  Then it has to go from our plate to our mouth.  Something similar needs to take place if we are to acquire wisdom.

If we aren’t hungry, most likely we won’t put food in our mouth.  We also have to have a desire to learn if we are going to acquire wisdom.  If we want it, we have to make an effort to get it.  Proverbs 2:6 says that God gives wisdom, but Proverbs 2:2 says that we have to incline our ears to wisdom and apply our heart to understanding.  Salomon is often considered the wisest man the world has ever known.  He had to ask for wisdom.  II Chronicles 1:11-12 says “And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king:   Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.”  In James 1:5 God promises to give us wisdom. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

Our text says that knowledge needs to be pleasant to our soul.  Wisdom can’t function when there is no knowledge.  A good definition of wisdom is that it is the intelligent application of knowledge.  For that reason, we need to be willing to learn.  Proverbs 1:7 says “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Many seek knowledge in order that they might have a good salary.  There is nothing wrong with that, but we also need the knowledge that teaches us how to live. Some have knowledge that enables them to make money, but they are a failure in their personal life.  Their home is a disaster.  They spend their money foolishly.  Some are deep in debt.

Such people are a perfect example of what proverbs 12:15 says.  “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.”  It’s never wrong to seek counsel.  Some young people disdain advice they receive from their parents and elders.  They need to know that the best advice comes from God.  It’s found in his Word.  It’s never wrong.  We have to be humble and willing to accept counsel.  Sometimes good advice is rejected because it is taken as criticism.  It’s unfortunate that many are willing to pay a high price for advice from a psychologist when they could have received better advice rom the old folks next door, and it wouldn’t have cost them anything.

If you find yourself in serious problems, you need to seek counsel, but it’s best that you receive it from someone who has a good amount of Bible knowledge.  That way you can take advantage of their wisdom.  It isn’t always easy to take heed to their advice.  Sometimes it means that you will need to ask forgiveness and say, “I was wrong.  I’m sorry.”  It may mean you will need to make some sacrifices.  You may need to change your life style.

Don’t expect everything to change from one day to the next.  If you have been on the wrong road for some time, it has no doubt led you into some bad habits.  It may take time to change them.  God has promised to give us discretion.  Discretion will help you know what changes you need to make.  Discretion will guard you from being deceived by wicked men.

Don’t get discouraged.  All is not lost.  It may be that your loss is really your gain.  You are leaving behind bad attitudes, and wrong ways of thinking.  What you are gaining will help you in establishing good and lasting relationships.  If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ, that could be your greatest gain.  If you trust him as your Savior, and surrender your life to him, he will guide you in making wise decisions.

There remains for you a glorious future if you are willing to take seriously and put into practice what Proverbs 3:13-18 tells us.  “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.  She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.    Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.    Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.    She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.”


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