Perhaps you heard about the fellow whose wife asked him to hand her the lip balm.
“I passed her Super Glue by mistake,” he said. “She’s still not talking to me.”
Well, sometimes it’s best not to do much talking anyway. At least that was the case for a fellow named Hezekiah, an Old Testament king who was known to share too much information on occasion.
When some folks came to visit Hezekiah from a neighboring country, he not only told them about everything he owned, he also showed it all to them. That proved to be a really bad idea. They came back sometime later and stole pretty much everything of value that he had.
Hezekiah lacked discretion when it came to what he information he shared with others. It’s a problem lots of people seem to have. I’m often amazed by what people share on Facebook, especially those who keep everyone posted about their whereabouts, even when they’re three states away on vacation while their homes, filled with their valuable belongings, sits empty. When we tell the world we’re on the trip, we should realize robbers may be listening, too.
We certainly don’t need to tell everything to everyone. Hezekiah’s experience shows why that’s a bad idea. Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, except for Jesus, of course, had a great deal to say about discretion. His wise counsel is recorded in the book of Proverbs.
First and foremost, perhaps, is this statement: “Discretion will protect you; understanding will watch over you” (Proverbs 2:11).
When we think of protection, we most often think of fences, or doors, or locks, or guns. Perhaps we don’t always think immediately of discretion as a defense. But discretion will keep us out of unsafe places and unwise situations. It a very real sense it is a preventive.
Discretion will cause you to look closely at the label when your wife asks for lip balm. Discretion will keep you from giving her Super Glue by mistake. And discretion may mean you have ear plugs handy when that glue loses its strength and your wife is able to tell you just what she thinks of the mix up.
Roger Alford offers words of encouragement to residents of America’s heartland. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.