life

Discretion Will Preserve You

“Discretion will preserve you, understanding willl keep you” – Proverbs 2:11 (New King James Version)

I’ve always loved this verse even before I fully comprehended what it meant. For the past few months I’ve been wondering what it really means to be discreet. For nine months now God has been doing a wonderful thing in my life and although I am grateful and joyous about this new adventure that God has set me on, I’m very careful about who I share the details with. To a large extent, I’m trying to be discreet. I heard a quote recently that resonated with me…

“Stop announcing the birth of your chickens before they hatch” – Olori Swank (@OloriSWANK on Twitter)

Discretion comes into play here for me because I don’t want to undermine what God is putting together in my life by announcing it too quickly. I believe in my heart that the work of God will speak for itself at the appointed time.

More than just being discreet in a particular situation or circumstance, we should live discreetly. For some the word discretion may have a negative connotation, bringing to mind people who are sneaky or underhanded. That does not have to be the case. Acting with discretion often means that we are carefully considerate of the long term consequences of our actions. In fact, the definition of the word states that it is “the quality of having or showing good judgment or discernment”  As a child of God, you can’t live without discernment. It is necessary to life! A child of God without discernment might as well be an unbeliever! Because you will make the same foolish mistakes as those who are not listening to the voice of God to direct and dictate their lives. Everyone needs discretion.

One of the places that I see a complete lack of discretion, sadly, is on social media sites. I don’t know how many times I’ve cringed or stared mouth ajar at my computer screen, flabbergasted at what some of our young people (and older people) are posting about. Seriously, I’m scared for them. Posting everything about yourself from the kind of man/woman you want to be with, to the “private pictures” of yourself  in your bedroom, to the details of every emotion and turmoil you experience leaves you WIDE open to the manipulation of others. Anyone can go online, read all about you and know exactly which buttons to push to get you to do whatever they want. Your list of turn ons and turn offs gives someone of the opposite sex all the ammunition they need to pretend to be perfect for you. And without the discernment to see through their ploy, you’re headed for disaster. Beyond just posting too much about our lives online, a lack of discretion will cause us to post things that reflect our temporary circumstances but have LIFE LONG consequences. Many people seem to forget that as a human being, you are suppose to grow with each day. The weaknesses you had yesterday should not be the same weaknesses that hold you bound a year from now. As people of God, we should be deeper in Christ with each passing day. With that understanding, nothing but a lack of discretion will cause you to badmouth a loved one online because they made you mad. Even if you take the post down or delete the tweet, you can’t control how other people are going to use that information. If today you are the party girl who loves going out and letting it all hang out, and tomorrow you’re the mother and wife who wants to honor her husband and build her household up, the evidence you’ve left online will make it hard for some people to forget. You’ve given them ammunition to attack you for years to come. People are not always going to be happy about our growth and sadly some people make it their job to remind us VIVIDLY of the mistakes we’ve made; the less we publicize and celebrate our indiscretions, the more we’ll have to be thankful for when we outgrow them. Discretion will preserve you, understanding will keep you!

life, Mentoring/Discipleship

Rebellion vs. Ignorance

“Rebellion is deadlier than ignorance” – Dr. Mike Murdock

This quote reminds me of the following verse…

Acts 17: 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent. (NIV)

I read this quote on Twitter and it immediately got me thinking. When someone is unaware of the consequences of an action, they are liable to make foolish decisions that must be later rectified. The good news is that ignorance can be cured with knowledge. Anyone who was once ignorance does not have to remain so. They can forge out on their own to learn what they KNOW that they do not know. Or, they may encounter a teacher, someone willing and able to share wisdom with others. But what about someone who knows the consequences of a particular course of action and still chooses to travel a path that’s almost assured to lead to destruction? That’s rebellion. It’s funny how easily rebellion can be camouflaged nowadays under the guise of doing it your way of finding your own path. In a generation that touts independence and individualism so much, it’s no wonder that young people don’t want to hear someone’s cautionary tale. Everyone, young and old, knows the danger of unprotected sex. Most Christians know the greater dangers of premarital sex. Societies, whether spiritually inclined or not, are becoming aware of the dangers of casual sex. Yet and still young people engage in all three with reckless abandon. Among some young people, there seems to be a disconnect between the knowledge they have of the great risk they are taking and their ability to make sound decisions. Knowing that something has the power to overcome and destroy you yet pursuing it anyway – that’s rebellion, and yes it is dangerous. Reminds me of another verse.

Hebrews 11:26-27 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. (NIV)

If a parent has a child who is ignorant about the ways of the world, the parent will always try to educate that child. Parents do this by equipping their children with the skills, tools and mindset necessary to face and overcome challenges. When a parent has a child that has been properly equipped from home yet persists in making poor decisions, that parent has to go to extremes to bring the child back in line. This is where we see young people who end up in the juvenile or criminal justice system or end up with life-altering problems such as incurable diseases, injuries or addictions. This is often where we hear parents say things such as – “He/she was not brought up this way”, “we did everything we knew to do,”they should have known better” “we don’t know what went wrong”.

No matter how much we may want to ignore it or chuck it up to being “independent” or the desire to find our own way, when we embark on a path that we have been warned against and that has led to the destruction of others – it is rebellion! Plain and simple, and if left untamed, it will lead to destruction. Ignorance can be cured just as rebellion can be deadly.