Of Discretion and Discernment

A devotion of PROVERBS 26

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Some things go together like peas and carrots. Others go together like slugs and spinach.

hannah tk

Discretion: discernment, prudence, responsibility, tact, foresight, wisdom, acuteness of judgment and understanding.

Discretion and discernment are high level executive functions of the brain. They are a function of maturity and are attained by repeatedly exercising judgement, reflecting on it, and building on that decision in the future, thousands of times. One learns from one’s own experiences as well as those of others. People who are discrete or discerning are contemplative and are masters of generalizing as well as compartmentalizing aspects of various situations. We should all strive to grow in discretion and discernment all our days.

1 Like snow in summer and rain at harvest,

honor is inappropriate for a fool.

He doesn’t deserve it. He doesn’t understand it. He doesn’t appreciate it. He doesn’t know what to do with it. The timing is wrong and inapropriate. Don’t waste it on him. Like the proverbial pig that tramples pearls you lay before it, it will then turn around and attack you! You will have wasted time, energy, and resources and you’ll have a black eye to show for it.

3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,

and a rod for the backs of fools.

Do not go easy a fool. They need and deserve the rod. “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child and a rod will drive it out,” Pr. 22:15. That is the language they understand. And if that child grows up and didn’t get the rod, it’s never too late to let consequences break up the folly that is bound up in that heart. Do not rescue them from it. For example, “A hot-tempered person must pay the penalty; rescue them, and you will have to do it again,” Pr 19:19.

They live on the rule of repetition. It takes thousands of repetitions to establish habits, good or bad. The more you practice, the more skilled you become. Choose what you practice wisely.

4 Don’t answer a fool according to his foolishness

or you’ll be like him yourself.

5 Answer a fool according to his foolishness or he’ll become wise in his own eyes.

12 Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

How would one know if they are wise in their own eyes other than to ask them. And if they answer yes with certainty, you well know that there is more hope for a fool than for them. A wise person knows he has much to learn and grow in. They will know that they are a work in progress for the length of their life.

6 The one who sends a message by a fool’s hand cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.

10 The one who hires a fool or who hires those passing by is like an archer who wounds everyone.

Do you have an experience where you just wish you had undertaken a task yourself instead of assigning someone else to do it for you? How did that turn out for you? What did you spend or waste in the process? What did it cost you?

7 A proverb in the mouth of a fool is like lame legs that hang limp.

It’s not going anywhere. It’s only good for looks. The lame legs are at risk for ulcers and other circulation problems. They produce unending work for the owner and those around him.

8 Giving honor to a fool is like binding a stone in a sling.

It’s not going anywhere. It may actually come back and clock you in the head.

9 A proverb in the mouth of a fool is like a stick with thorns,

brandished by the hand of a drunkard.

Nothing good will come of this situation. Said stick is dangerous. The drunkard won’t remember it in the morning. Those who stand around long enough will have nothing but scratches and welts to show for it. They are in danger of being fools themselves.

11 As a dog returns to its vomit,

so a fool repeats his foolishness.

Some things are predictable. Don’t be surprised. They are predictable because like the acquisition of discernment and discretion, folly is gained by repetition.

It is all in the rule of repetition.

hannah tk

Published by hannahtk

Hannah is a footloose Jesus-girl who enjoys family and friends, writing, painting, calligraphy, speaking and teaching, reading, cooking, gardening...

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