A popular quick phrase today is “just sayin'”. I have to admit. I have said it tongue-in-cheek from time to time. But, do we always need to say something. The answer is no.
What Does Discretion Mean
“Prudence, or knowledge and prudence; that discernment which enables a person to judge critically of what is correct and proper, united with caution; nice discernment and judgment, directed by circumspection, and primarily regarding ones own conduct.”
“Liberty or power of acting without other control than ones own judgment; as, the management of affairs was left to the discretion of the prince; he is left to his own discretion Hence,
To surrender at discretion is to surrender without stipulation or terms, and commit ones self entirely to the power of the conqueror.”
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
“a good man…will guide his affairs with discretion”. Psalm 112:5
“He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getting to himself a blot. Reproe not a scorner, lest he hate the: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy is understanding”.
What’s Popular Today Isn’t Always The Right Thing
There seems to be much flowing from people today. If it is in word or writing people are so quick to put out there their thoughts, their perspective and yes, their rebukes. Is that the right thing to do? Do we all need to chime in on a subject. Most of the time subjects and circumstances are put out there so quickly that not all the information is correct. But, the damage is already done.
Know When To Just Keep Silent
Did your grandmother ever say to you, “If your mouth is open talking…you can’t hear what’s going on around you”. She was right…we need to spend more time listening, observing and discerning what is important and at the right time when it is important to say something about it or to someone.
“Prudence implies caution in deliberating and consulting on the most suitable means to accomplish valuable purposes, and the exercise of sagacity in discerning and selecting them. prudence differs from wisdom in this, that prudence implies more caution and reserve than wisdom, or is exercised more in foreseeing and avoiding evil, than in devising and executing that which is good. It is sometimes mere caution or circumspection. Prudence is principally in reference to actions to be done, and due means, order, season and method of doing or not doing.” Webster’s 1828 Dictionary.
How often do we hear the word ‘prudence’ today. I think it’s principles are so very important. Knowing when to say something, measuring carefully what we choose to say and being more selective is something I think we should practice more and more.
“I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions. The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength“. Proverbs 8:12-14
“To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding. To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. A Wise man will hear, and will increase in learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise and their dark sayings. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction”. Proverbs 1:1-7
Taking the time to listen, to process and perhaps to know when not to say something at all – is exercising wisdom, discretion and prudence. This I think is something that we should be known more for and something we should strive to do daily in our lives.