In this lesson we are going to look at the word discretion. Discretion is something that must be taught, and it is lacking in our society today. As we will see in this lesson discretion is a necessity in this life and it can save you from both the evil man and the strange woman.
Discretion – The ability to determine what is right or wrong and correct or proper, primarily regarding your conduct and behavior or actions.
The book of Proverbs is a great book for building character. With the lack of character among adults today it is no wonder that our young people are in the condition they are in today. One of the main reasons for the book of Proverbs being written we will see that it is to give the young man discretion as well as build character.
Proverbs 1:4 “To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.”
How do we get discretion?
Discretion will come through reading, meditating, studying, and praying about the word of God. And since there is a lack of real Bible teaching and preaching today there is no wonder why there is very little discretion among even God’s people. You can also learn a lot about discretion by watching those who have it.
- This passage gives us the scenario for when saved people do not grow in the word of God and stay spiritual babes forever.
- The result is those that should be teachers need teaching, and therefore those coming up have no one to teach them.
- The main reason for why we have such worldliness and junk in the church is because saved people cannot discern between what is right and wrong. And the reason for this is they do not spend time in the word of God.
- In verse 14 we see that those who eat strong meat (deeper things of the word of God) can discern between what is right and wrong. Therefore, if you never advance from milk to strong meat you will never be able to determine what is right and wrong.
Now let us look at two very interesting verses concerning the word discernment.
Psalms 112:5 “A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.”
From this verse we see that our affairs should be guided with discretion. The word affairs will apply to everything we do in our daily lives. For example our affairs will include: what we wear, what we say, who we say it to, where we go, our we spend our time, who we spend our time with, the career we chose, the person we marry, where we go to church, how we conduct our selves at church, what food we eat, what we spend our money on, the friends we chose, etc.
Everything you do requires discretion.
Proverbs 11:22 “As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.”
Society teaches young women that if they are not pretty, fashionable, or provocative in their appearance that they will not be popular, accepted or be able to find a husband. The Proverb before us says that it doesn’t matter how pretty a woman is, if she does not have discretion, she is just a piece of gold in a hog’s nose. (Very attractive isn’t it)
Young men are taught by society that looks are the most important thing. This just show us how dumb men are is because when they do not look for a woman who has discretion but good looks all they are getting is a piece of gold in a hog’s nose.
The word of God is the best source of information on why women and men think and act like they do. It also gives the solution for the man’s problems if he is willing to follow the instructions.
Two groups that discretion will save you from:
1) The evil man (Proverbs 2:12-15)
- Discretion saves us from the man that speaks evil things. What we hear affects our heart and our actions.
- Discretion saves us from those who walk in darkness. Why do men love darkness? Because their deeds are evil. John 3:19
- Discretion saves us from those who love and are happy to do evil. These people are usually destroyed by the very thing they loved.
- Discretion saves us from those who are crooked and trying to con you out of or into something.
2) The strange woman (Proverbs 2:16-19)
- Now the picture here in Proverbs is that the strange woman is a harlot. Now note that see flatters with her words. Every one of us likes to hear certain things and without discretion we will fall for flattery every time. Proverbs 27:5-6
- Notice that she has forsaken the guide of her youth. Very few parents teach their little girls to be a prostitute. But when they do not teach them to have discretion, they will forsake the guide of their youth.
- Notice also this woman has forsaken her covenant with God.
- Discretion will save you from this woman and save you from death. (Verses 18-19)
Now when we step back and look at this, we notice that one of the biggest problems with society starts in the home. And today we have many broken homes. Therefore, we see that one of man’s biggest problems is picking the right woman and woman’s biggest problem is picking the right man. The real problem is NO DISCRETION because discretion will keep you from the evil man and the strange woman.
What about those things that might not be clearly distinguished as right or wrong?
Here are some questions to ask yourself when making decisions on whether something is right or wrong.
1) Can God get the glory out of what I’m about to do?
2) Can I ask God to bless what I’m about to do?
3) Would I like Jesus to find me doing this if he returned at this moment?
4) It is a good example to someone who might see me do it?
5) What is my motive for doing what I’m about to do?
Character Studies in Proverbs: Lesson #4 Handout
1) What is a good definition for Discretion?
2) One of the main reasons that the book of Proverbs was written was to give a young man discretion, where is this found?
3) What do the following two verses have to say about Discretion?
4) In Proverbs 2:11-22 the Bible gives us two important groups that Discretion will keep us from. List them and give characteristics of both groups.
5) List some questions that you can ask yourself to help you use discretion in everyday decisions that you will be faced with.