Discreet-wise in avoiding errors or evil and in selecting the best means to accomplish a purpose: cautious: not rash.
Such a strong word that I would dare say is missing greatly in our society today! Although the word discreet is only found 3 times in the Bible and the word discretion is found 9 times, it does not lessen the impact of such a great word and characteristic which we should have.
Proverbs 19:11 says "The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression."
We need discretion, wisdom to choose the best reaction, in order to put away anger. Anger can get the best us of at times and it is not a pretty thing. There are so many situations that arise in our lives where we surely need discretion to prevent us from going off on someone or giving them a piece of our mind. In fact, we need discretion in every area of our lives. We need discretion to guide us in how we speak, in our actions and reactions, and in our daily life decisions. Where we go, what we do, what we listen to and what we look at will be greatly affected by whether we have discretion or not. Discretion could keep us from many conflicts between one another but we have to choose rightly.
The second part of this verse says, "and it is his glory to pass over a transgression." When is the last time someone did wrong toward you and you were happy to just forgive them? That is what can happen when we are right in our heart and life with our Saviour. No, it does not mean that we are devoid of feeling and emotion but it does mean with the help of the Holy Spirit that we can have joy and delight to forgive because we can remember how much we have been forgiven. But how can we really get to this and be discreet men and women of God? Proverbs 2:11 says "Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee." If we go back and read the verse prior it all makes since as to how we can have discretion in our lives. Proverbs 2:10 says "When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto they soul;"
Ah ha!!! There it is! Discretion comes from the wisdom and knowledge we allow to penetrate our hearts and minds from God's Word. Regardless of whether it is easy or hard, discretion comes when we accept and apply it. Wisdom defined is the quality of having experience, knowledge and good judgment. This verse tells us then, that if we receive knowledge and then delight in those truths; then discretion shall preserve thee.
The opposite also could be said. If we are receiving God's Word and not choosing to accept it then we will be lacking discretion. Sadly many lack discretion. Some lack discretion because they have totally chosen to reject Jesus and His payment for their sin on the cross of Calvary. There are others that have received a great amount of knowledge, teaching, and instruction and have trusted Christ as their Saviour, yet they pick and choose what they will obey. According to this verse they also lack discretion.
We have seen that wisdom must first enter in and we must choose to apply it but then we also saw that discretion shall preserve us in verse 11. Have you ever had something preserved? It is kept, it is also protected. It takes time to preserve something and there is a certain process to follow. It is also the same with discretion. The first step is gaining the wisdom of Jesus Christ and his death, burial, and resurrection for the sins of the world. Then accepting this by placing your faith and trust in Him and Him alone for your salvation to enter into Heaven one day when you leave this earth. As we then seek the Lord and ask for wisdom we can receive it of Him. The Bible tells us this in James 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." But if we are receiving wisdom and knowledge of the things we need and then not applying it, again, there is no discretion in the matter. If all we ever do is come to Church and read our Bibles and never apply it, what have we learned, what have we read, and what good is it?
Think about it. What if you had a flat tire, you pull over, get out of your car, pull out the spare tire, sit it down and get back in your car and just sit there! You have the knowledge and the resources to change the tire but you are not applying it. What good is it doing you?
The Bible says in James 4:17 "Therefore To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." Therefore, if we know what the Bible says and we are not doing it, we are sinning. I would venture to say that application is the most important part of the entire process. What if you heard the Gospel, that God loved you so much that he sent his only Son Jesus to die on the cross for you; that he was buried and three days later rose again and now he is in Heaven. You also understood that he desires you would put your faith and trust in Him alone and what he did on the cross to take you to Heaven and ask him to be the Lord of your life. The fact is that if you received this wonderful message but walked away not accepting it then the Bible says you would die and go to a place called hell.
John 3:36 "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."
Here you can see the great impact and destruction that can come from not applying the spiritual truths you are receiving! I would say then, if we are hearing the truth, taught week in and week out, but still are not applying what has been taught we are most miserable! This is especially true if we are Christians. I understand the battle between the flesh and the spirit and that it is a daily struggle. Yes, we will fail at times but we must not stay down. Seek forgiveness from the Lord and press on seeking to please him.
Proverbs 23:12 states, "Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge."
It first has to begin in our heart. If we have no desire to serve the Lord from our heart it will not happen or it will happen for a time but will soon fade away. Our hearts must be broken by our own sins and the sin around us in this world. We must see the great love our Saviour has for us and really grasp who He is and what He has done for us. When we do this our hearts WILL be affected. Then what we hear and learn from Gods Word we will take and apply it.
2 Peter 3:18 tells us, "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen."
We are to be growing in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Growing is a process and once we have hit a certain “mark” we continue growing. A baby does not crawl forever. As they grow, they learn how to pull up and eventually they learn how to walk. Itis a process of learning and growing just as applying knowledge is. We learn and we apply those things God is teaching us. As we mature some He then teaches us and shows us something else. We then apply those truths and grow. 2 Peter 1:3-10 talks about this growth and about the process of "adding to our faith." 2 Peter 1:3 tells us that we have been given ALL things that pertain unto life and godliness through the knowledge of him. But that passage continues stating that we must apply that knowledge. We must be diligent and add to our faith. Note that in order to add to our faith we must first have faith! Faith In what? Again, as with earlier, it all begins with faith in Jesus Christ and that His death on the cross paid for our sins; trusting in Him and Him alone to take us to Heaven, placing Jesus as the Lord of our lives. Only after that saving faith can we then have something to add to. Growing and adding to our faith is, or should be, a process that occurs the rest of our lives on this earth. Being a man or women of discretion is not just a one time thing we accomplish today and do not have to worry about it again. No, it is a daily process in applying and living out the truths from Gods Word.
Let it not be said of us as is stated in 2 Timothy 3:7, "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."
- Shannon Grandinetti, Women's Missionary Fellowship Director, Sharon Baptist Church
Sharon Baptist church is an independent, fundamental Baptist church located in Hampton, VA.
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