Gaining Prudence

“You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.” — Proverbs 8:5

Proverbs 8:5

The word prudence is not one we use or hear very often. But the book of Proverbs seems to enjoy using it, so perhaps it is worth reevaluating.

Prudence can be defined as the ability to discipline yourself, to manage your affairs well, and to discern and have good judgment. We need prudence so that we can make good decisions and not act rashly or too quickly without first considering the costs or consequences.

In Proverbs, Wisdom calls every­one to gain prudence. We should act with discernment, thinking carefully even if our intentions are good. For example, it can be good to give money for important causes, but we should first pray and discern how and where to give it so that we can be sure our gifts are distributed well.

Jesus encouraged his disciples to have prudence. In Luke 14:28, for example, he says that if you want to build a ­tower, “won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?”

In a similar way, Jesus wants us to assess the cost of being his disciple. We need to consider his words and discern his ways so that we can confidently follow his example and set our hearts on him.

How might Jesus be calling you to seek prudence today?

Jesus, as your Spirit gives me wisdom to know you more fully, give me prudence to love you more deeply and follow you with greater intention. Amen.

Bible References

Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?

She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.

She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.

Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.

O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.

Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.

For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.

They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.

10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.

11 For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

12 I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.

28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

2 Thessalonians 1

Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;

So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:

Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:

Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;

And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,

In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:

12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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