Read: Proverbs 2:11
Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.
Harry Emerson Fosdick wrote, “He who chooses the beginning of a road chooses the place it leads to. It is the means that determine the end.”
Choosing the right road is what discretion is all about. The dictionary defines discretion as judgment; power to decide. It is the ability to judge right from wrong and to choose that which is wholesome from that which is harmful. Solomon, one of the wisest men who ever lived, tells us that discretion—the power to and the practice of choosing wisely in a given set of choices—is one of the main ingredients to wisely navigating the sometimes rough and dangerous waters of life.
How many lives have been shipwrecked by a lack of discretion? How many careers have been ruined by an absence of understanding? How many marriages have failed and families been destroyed because of poor judgment? How much potential has been wasted because someone didn’t make wise choices? Here’s a sobering exercise: Go back to your high school yearbook ten, twenty, or thirty years after your graduation and chances are you’ll see the wreckage of far too many people who squandered one opportunity after another simply by failing to exert discretion.
The practice of discretion, or the lack thereof, tells a great deal about who we are and where we are headed in life. Listen carefully to the wise words of Eleanor Roosevelt: “One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words. It is expressed in the choices one makes…” She goes on, as does Solomon in Proverbs 2, to place the responsibility of exerting discretion and making wise choices squarely at our feet: “And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” (Little House on the Freeway, Tim Kimmel, p. 143)
Perhaps we should hang a sign over the door of our house so that as we leave each day, we would be reminded: Viewer discretion is advised. Simply exercising discretion today will keep you from disaster tomorrow. God has given you a wonderful gift—the ability to choose wisely. I trust that you will use that gift to its fullest potential. The choice is yours!
“In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves.
The process never ends until we die.”
Your Assignment, Should You Choose To Accept It:
Ask someone who knows you well and has observed you over the years to evaluate your life in the areas of wisdom and discretion. Ask for their honest opinion, and be ready to hear their answers. Be even more ready to take immediate action if changes are appropriate.