The ABC’s of Wisdom: Building Character with Solomon - Prudence

PRUDENCE

 

Street Smarts

 

For giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young.

Proverbs 1:4

 

Prudence is a word that has almost fallen out of contem­porary usage. Partly that is due to some unfortunate connections with concepts of cleverness and undue cau­tion that have been associated with it. However, prudence was first on the list of the classic virtues, combining confi­dence, wisdom, enterprise, and ingenuity.

Essentially, prudence is the ability to make wise choices in the midst of your daily affairs. The word pru­dent means to be shrewd and clever in a positive sense. It means possessing street smarts. If you have a problem, you know how to get out of it. A person who has pru­dence is clever and shrewd in the ways of the world. He knows how to do things that need to be done. Solomon defines this in verse 3 as “doing what is right and just and fair.” So it’s not just how to do things, but how to do the right things in the right way.

Notice the two groups in verse 4. There are the sim­ple and there are the young. Who are the simple? This term does not refer to IQ or overall mental ability. In the Bible, the word simple refers to people who are naive or gullible. Here’s a short character profile of biblical sim­pletons. They are easily tricked because they lack discernment. They have “sucker” written all over their faces. And they make the same dumb mistakes over and over. They get into the same bad relationships over and over. They make the same bad investments over and over. They say the same foolish things over and over, they hurt their friends the same way, they make promises they break, they start out trying to do something but bite off more than they can chew and then have to back off. Maybe you know somebody like that, or maybe you are like that. If you gain prudence, you will learn how to break the cycle of making the same mistakes over and over.

If you follow the Lord from your youth, by the time you’re old you’ll be wise. You may start off foolish, sim­ple, and gullible, but by the end you’ll be prudent and disciplined and wise. By the time you’re forty or fifty, you ought to have some street smarts. There is no excuse for being gullible when you’re forty-five. It is not a matter of age, for I have known some seventy-five-year-olds who are really quite gullible. They are making the same mis­takes they made when they were twenty-five. It’s not strictly chronological, but the older you get, the wiser you ought to become. When you are young, you just don’t know enough yet, you haven’t lived enough, you haven’t seen enough of life yet to be really experienced in street smarts.

No one becomes prudent overnight. But there is hope for all of us, especially for the young. You may be a gullible fool, but you definitely don’t have to stay that way.

 

Lord, help me to learn from my mistakes so that I won’t have to make them all over again. Amen.

 

Name someone you know who makes the same mis­takes over and over. What seems to be at the heart of the problem?

What mistakes are you continuing to make? What do you need to do about it?

 

Want instant access to all 100 daily devotionals? The ABC’s of Wisdom: Building Character with Solomon is available in ebook format for the Kindle, Nook, or Ipad. Purchase your copy here! 

Latest blog posts

Good Words for Today: June 1
Monday, June 1

Continue

Anchor
The Anchor Project
Explaining the Gospel in “Walmart English”

Anchor is a “gospel book” that explains the Good News in a simple and persuasive manner. Read the latest on “The Anchor Project” and how you can be support our work.

Read More
China
Keep Believing China
Partnering with Chinese pastors and churches

We want to join together with pastors and Christian workers to equip the church in China, broadcasting translated sermons, providing ministry resources for Christians and pastors in China.

Read More

Email
Weekly sermon email
Subscribe for free

Subscribe to the weekly sermon from Keep Believing Ministries. Sign up for our emails and use it to grow in your faith as well as to encourage others.

Continue

audio
KBM Podcasts
Weekly audio sermons

Welcome to Keep Believing Ministries’ audio/podcast library. Listen to or download a digital audio version of one of these messages or receive them via our podcast and feed.

Read More

Ebook: Lord of Glory

The Bible contains many names of Christ. His names tell us who he is. His names tell us why he came. His names tell us how he can help us. His names tell us why we worship him. In this devotional series you'll learn of these varied and meaning behind the names, titles and descriptions of Christ.

“Equipping and encouraging people to keep believing in Jesus”

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”