The living room floor was cluttered with stuffed animals, books, wood blocks, balls and other toys. Jack was busy playing at Grandma Kitty’s house. He picked up a small ball and threw it into the air, laughing as it flew from his hand. Then with his cute smile he toddled to the ball. On his way to the ball he walked on top of a stuffed animal and then on a wood block and over a book and finally made it to the ball. Laughing he threw the ball again and started the process all over again. With a watchful eye Grandma Kitty noticed that he slid every time he stepped on a block. She stacked the blocks under the table where he would not slip on them.
Eighteen month old children do not have discernment. They are barely learning how to navigate physical objects, and sometimes not very well. But as they grow they should start learning the difference between safe and dangerous, good and bad, and right and wrong.
“Discernment is not a matter of simply telling the difference between right and wrong; rather, it is telling the difference between right and almost right.”
I have learned that right and wrong get very complicated in this world. And sometimes it takes a little time to discern between right and almost right. An almost right decision leads the wrong direction. Prudent actions can help to give more time for discernment. I came across the following scriptures and thought they told the story very well.
Proverbs 22:3 (NASB)
The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, But the naive go on, and are punished for it.
Proverbs 12:16 (NASB)
A fool’s anger is known at once, But a prudent man conceals dishonor.
Proverbs 13:16 (NASB)
Every prudent man acts with knowledge, But a fool displays folly.
Proverbs 17:28 (NASB)
Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; When he closes his lips, he is considered prudent.
Proverbs 18:15 (NASB)
The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
If I don’t have immediate discernment on a subject I plan on stopping before I talk or act. Taking time to step back from a situation and look objectively with a biblical world view can help with discerning the difference between right and almost right. A prudent person acts with knowledge and avoids acting like a fool or suffering punishment for wrong choices. I am finding that in this society where right is wrong and wrong is popular it takes prudence and discernment to make it on the right path. I am learning to take everything I hear and compare it to the truth that I find in the Word of God and if it does not line up I remove it from my thinking and move on in the right direction. This is the challenge of a life time for all of us.
Enjoy your prudent and discerning week and I will be back next week with more.