Biblical Reflections: Proverbs 2:11

Proverbs 2:11 – Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee

Have you ever wanted to know the right thing to do?  Having an acute sense of discernment is highly valuable.  We are beset every hour with some decision to act or be still, to come or go, to answer or be silent.  Most of our decisions are rather mundane, but many are still critical for their effect on our lives and the lives of those around us.

Take for example a mother deciding upon what to feed her children for breakfast.  Will she take the time to prepare a full meal with eggs and sausage with a side of fresh fruit and whole wheat toast?  Or will she opt for cereal and milk?  In this case the right answer depends on what she needs to do after breakfast and when it needs to take place.  If she is a single mother then that also plays a role in the decision, because her time is more constrained than that of a married mother.  Did she have to work late the night before and are the children well?  Do the children have any allergies to eggs and sausage?  So, you can see even from this brief example that our daily lives need a good measure of discernment, because wrong answers have repercussions.

This is not to say that all decisions are relativistic.  God forbid that we fall into the post-modern mindset that all things are relative and there are no absolutes.  It is at least an error if not a sin to believe that all decisions are relative to our situation or means.  It is always evil to blaspheme God, to murder, to still, to covet, to mislead someone from the truth, etc.  Therefore, we need wisdom to discern when life’s challenges are within the rules and when they are not.  The writer here says that “Discretion shall preserve thee.”  Discretion is simply the ability to make responsible decisions in light of the available information.  Who doesn’t want that?

Pray to God in Heaven to give you the wisdom and knowledge needed for discretion.  With it you can avoid the snares of those who would mislead and those who would tempt you into sin and death.

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