It almost seems like yesterday, but actually we are going back at least 10 years ago. Amy and I had our 3 children in just about 5 short years so you can imagine the “fun” it was to take the kids out in public together when they were very young. Constant reminders to “hold onto my hand” or “hold your sister’s hand” were always given to each of the kids as we went shopping or went anywhere together as a family. Though I don’t remember any truly long periods of time where I lost track of one of the kids, I can remember at least one time. I believe it was at Knoebels, where I lost track of Hannah for a few brief, but very intense seconds. Talk about panic!
Similarly, in our reading today we come across two things that we should never let out of our sight. Proverbs 3:21 says, ” My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion.” “Let them not depart from thine eyes”, which literally means to not to let them out of your sight. And what two things should we never let get away? Wisdom and discretion.
Wisdom- what exactly does that mean? Pastor John Piper gives the following excellent definition: “It is referring to that practical knowledge of how to attain true and lasting happiness. It begins with the fear of the Lord and consists in humbly hearing and doing God’s will perceived both in Scripture and in the unique circumstances of the moment.” Quite simply it is applying Scriptural principles to everyday situations, whether it be financial, relational or spiritual. With that idea in mind, it only goes without saying that we need to hold on to wisdom with all of our being. And the good news is that the Lord promises to give us wisdom if we need it (James 1:5).
The second word is discretion, or the more commonly-used synonym, discernment. It’s the ability to apply wisdom to situations so as to be able to accurately foresee the potential consequences one’s actions. It’s the ability to be able to see the negative side affects of one’s actions or words ahead of time so as to prevent one from making regrettable mistakes. The opposite of a person with discretion is the idea of the simple man in the book of Proverbs. This person just goes along in the here and now with no thought of the long-term consequences on his or her actions. In contrast, wisdom and discernment, two things each of us should strive for and never let out of our sight!