"Blessed be your discretion."
I Samuel 25: 33, Amplified Bible
"The Watchful Eye of Discretion"
"Discretion shall watch over you, understanding shall keep you."
Proverbs 2: 11, Amplified Bible
How would I define the word, "discretion"?
Can I think of a time when I should have used more discretion before I spoke or when I spoke?
"Talking too much, too soon and with too much self-satisfaction has always seemed to me a sure way to court disaster."
"Discretion in speech is more important than eloquence."
It was the very first thing the Bible tells us about Abigail, "She was a woman of good understanding," or as the Hebrew defines, she was a woman of discretion. And then the next adjective to describe Abigail was that she was also "beautiful."
How notable it is that before we are told how Abigail looked on the outside, we are told about the wise, understanding she contained on the inside. This fact matches up with an interesting statement David's son Solomon penned in the Proverbs.
Speaking specifically about the word "discretion" in relationship to the women he had known, King Solomon wrote in Proverbs 11: 22, (Amplified Bible) "As a ring of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman who is without discretion." Now before we get too mad at Solomon and jump to the conclusion this is a sexist remark, I'd like to add that a handsome man without discretion is like a pig with a ring in his nose, too.
If you think about the point King Solomon was trying to convey, his basic premise was that beauty does not cover up the lack in a person who has no understanding, insight or awareness - and speaks before they think.
I've known individuals who have had great beauty or were very handsome, but from their mouths flowed a fountain of unwise words that reflected not only their lack of understanding, but also showed their lack of perception.
What happens when minimal understanding rushes out from our mouths, is that we give away the fact we have spoken before we thought. And thankfully, it is from the life of Abigail where we receive one of the Bible's most intense lessons on learning to engage our brains before we engage our mouths.
The fact that King Solomon chose to be such a man-about-town, allowing his lust to control his life also shows that the quality of discretion not only degrades a woman's beauty, but a man without discretion can also succumb to ruining his life with unwise choices.
There was a time in Solomon's life when possibly it was his own father, David, who gave him the sound advice which King Solomon included in the Proverbs, "My Son, let them not escape from your sight, but keep sound and Godly Wisdom and discretion" (Proverbs 3: 21, Amplified Bible). It wouldn't surprise me at all to learn this was David's advice to his son. Advice he received and hearkened unto at a time in his life when he had met a wise and discerning woman, Abigail, who did not let her outward beauty cloud her inner wisdom.
When it comes to building relationships, it frequently happens that the glitz and glamour on the outside of an individual, blind us to the qualities on the inside that are the true building blocks of a heavenly foundation. We must never forget, that without discernment from above, we may find that what once attracted us to the outside of a person, can fade with time, while the gift of discretion, bestowed by God, as Proverbs says, "shall keep you."
"The better part of valor is discretion."
A Prayer for Discernment
"Be Thou my understanding thus shall I know that which it may please Thee that I should know. Not will I henceforth weary myself with seeking; but I will abide in peace with Thine understanding which shall wholly occupy my mind. I will not turn my eyes except towards (Thee). There will I stay and not move. I see all good to be in Thee. My (heart) can find no place but Thee for its repose…O God! I do not wish to follow Thee for Thy gifts! I want Thyself alone! I want nothing but Thee alone!"
Catherine of Genoa
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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