Read: Proverbs 2
“Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe.” (Proverbs 2:11, NLT)
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.” The ability to choose the right road is what wisdom, or what the NIV calls 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 choose plus the decision to choose wisely—is one of the main ingredients to successfully 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 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 will 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.”
God has given you a wonderful gift—the ability to choose wisely. Simply exercising discretion today will keep you from disaster tomorrow. 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.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
Winning At Life:
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.