Sunday, 28 August 2011 00:00
The dictionary defines “prudence” as “ability to govern and discipline one-self by the use of reason; shrewdness in the management of affairs; good judgment in the use of resources.” The Bible, in the book of Proverbs 1:4, we're told that one of the results of studying the book of Proverbs will be the acquisition of “prudence.”
Since this a quality most of us badly need, humbly, I would like to tell you that this word occurs fifteen (15) times in the book of Proverbs alone, where we learn:
1. Prudent people are like cats – they know that some things are best covered up. “But a prudent man covers shame” (Proverbs 12:16). Other version says “overlooks or ignore an insult.” They are not too sensitive, too touchy or too easily offended. It's often better to laugh off a criticism and complaint about the rudeness of other people; to make light of injuries and affronts, instead of making the worst of them. Prudent people don't take themselves too seriously.
2. Prudent people give cautious answers (Proverbs 12:23). “They don't tell everything they know.” Jesus often withheld information, giving only partial or concealed answers. He is not being dishonest, but prudent. Very often the wisest people give the shortest and quietest answers.
3. Prudent people think ahead (Proverbs 14:8). “The prudent look ahead to see what is coming. Some councilors make spot decision on mere allegation without thinking through the implications. They make an impulse accusation then suffer emotional stress when the votes comes in.
4. Prudent people take precautions (Proverbs 22:3 and 27:12). They don't live in fear, but they fasten their seatbelt, establish an emergency fund, monitor their investments, do maintenance on their workplace and homes, and guard against “the disastrous day.” Proverbs 15:5 also tells us that prudent people handle correction well. Wise people listen to criticism, discarding what is invalid and heeding the rest.
5. Prudent people have a healthy skepticism. They don't believe everything they hear (Proverbs 14:15). In fact, they are cautious in listening when it comes to what they are being told by the media and in the colleges and universities. Prudent people can see that sometimes the experts and professors are still seeking for wisdom when the janitors and cooks have found it long ago. A prudent person, without fear of contradiction, can declare: “I am not corrupt.”
To a prudent person, MYOB is the best policy. So Mind Your Own Business?
TO GOD BE ALL GLORY AND HONOR
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