Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Discretion, Circumspection and Plain Old Prudence

1The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

2for attaining wisdom and discipline;
for understanding words of insight;
3for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life,
doing what is right and just and fair;
4for giving prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young—
5let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance—
Proverbs 1:1-5

Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.
Proverbs 11:22

I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence;
I possess knowledge and discretion.
Proverbs 8:12

As I've been pondering the place of boundaries in my life, the topic of discretion now presents itself.

I realize that much of the hurt and disillusionment I am experiencing with some of the human relationships in my life have come about due to a lack of prudence on my part.
You see, I am good at keeping other people's secrets, but I am bad at keeping my own.

I'm not sure why this is. I could chalk it up to talking too much, but I think it's more than that. It's that needing approval thing again. I think.

I am eager to share my heart with others and be affirmed.

Also, I always liked the idea that with me, people know what they are getting. I don't hide stuff or play mind games with people. What you see is what you get, sort-of-thing.

But sometimes I assume someone is interested in my heart when they really aren't.

Halfway through explaining some great idea I had or something new I learned, I notice the person I am talking to, their eyes are glazing over and they have a kind of plastic smile that looks very polite.... and I am wrecked.
I realize I trusted something precious, a piece of me, to someone who really could care less (even if they are someone who seemingly should care more).

Jesus said,
"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces." Matthew 7:6

Specifically, Jesus is talking about sharing the gospel with combatant non-believers, but I think a similar application could be made regarding sharing something very precious with someone who is unable to have any appreciation for it.

I'm still not sure how to have healthy boundaries without becoming overly self-aware or come off as snobbish or distant. I know there is a balance somewhere in all that.

What I do know, is that some people simply are not 'safe'. And there are matters of the heart and soul that are private.

It's not melodramatic or melancholy, it just is what it is.

Proverbs 4:23 instructs:

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."

Sometimes I think we can share our heart and still guard it by keeping a tight check on our expectations. And then sometimes, I think we just need to keep our mouths shut. :)

I'll be "shutting up" and tuning out this coming month, with the exception of keeping my gratitude list going on Mondays (the Gratitude Community has been a wonderful accountability tool!).

Perhaps I will find that silence is golden!



  1. You're right.
    Sometimes the wise thing is to share and sometimes the wise thing is to shut up. And, like you said, often the difficulty is knowing when do we do which.

    I find it interesting, How this is true so much more one-on-one.
    There are thousands of us who lay our hearts out in print; anyone who stops by can see all that there is of us on display.
    When we hit the post button we have already decided to make ourselves vulnerable, to lay it out there for whoever wishes to take part. We are trusting that perhaps it will be received, welcomed, appreciated- and if it isn't... well, we've decided that is OK too.

    However, one-on-one everything changes. We are looking into the eyes of another, laying a part of ourselves at their feet. It is personal. If they don't get it, well, "their eyes are glazing over and they have a kind of plastic smile that looks very polite." And we can be "wrecked" because they carelessly 'care less'.

    I think. I hope. I pray. I believe. In your silence, His whispering voice will be amplified.
    And as you emerge from August this truth will be all the more established:

    the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
    He rises to show you compassion.
    For the LORD is a God of justice.
    Blessed are all who wait for Him!
    How gracious He will be when you cry for help! As soon as He hears, He will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."

    I love you, Dear Friend!

  2. Yes, I agree with you about it being different with regards to blogging. I think that is because when we put something on our blog, we generally have adjusted our expectations. We may get no responses or nasty responses or weird responses or kind and generous responses, and if we put something "out there" in cyber-space, we should be ready for whatever response comes.
    I remember the "Grace is for Sinners" girl saying once how she has become more introverted in person as she puts stuff out in cyber-space.

    Now I think there is a degree of that that happens these days with many people due to emails and social networking, etc....that they almost forget how to be in relationship face-to-face with people. I don't think that's what the "Grace is for Sinners" girl was saying about herself. I think she was talking about having healthy boundaries. And I most certainly am not interested in becoming more comfortable with people online than I am in person... or more engaged online than I am in person. I will take precautions to make sure that doesn't happen. Perhaps that will be another post for another time. :)

  3. I don't think that could ever happen to you :) or me either for that matter :}
    We enjoy life & sharing it with others too much to lose touch with people (personal, face-to-face)... besides the fact that we know what He has called us to be :]

    I think 'expectations' is the key word when it comes to sharing. I think His leading is the key when deciding what & with whom to share... if I could only learn to hear & follow 100% of the time!!

  4. I am making lunch & I was out grilling chicken & talking with God & I had to laugh... who am I kidding? If I could only learn to listen & obey 50% of the time it'd be an improvement!

    I say it with a smile, but note there is a pang in the heart...

  5. who am I kidding? If I could only learn to listen & obey 50% of the time it'd be an improvement!

    you make me laugh, but I know whereof you speak... I am right there with ya! ;>

  6. These are incredibly wise words. There's so much I could say -- but you really said it all, and much better than I could.

    Still I always have a few words. :) ha ha...

    True, time-tested friendships are golden, but the catch is: they take time. :) I tell my 15 year old that she will be wise to hold her friendships loosely, and not put the burden of expectations upon her friends. There are those few who will grow to earn our deepest trust -- and there are many others who will be a blessing in other ways. Both kinds are to be appreciated, but the one is a treasure indeed.

    When we moved here, my first move from my hometown (my oldest child was 7 and I was pregnant with my 3rd), I left my childhood friends and all my girlfriends that I had experienced newlywed days, pregnancy and new motherhood with. Suddenly I was silenced and invisible. I wondered, "If a tree falls in a forest...?" Would a baby born in a town where few are there to receive him with celebration really be as special as the ones born surrounded by a welcoming crowd?

    And that was when I learned that we don't have to be heard and seen to have significance. I learned to value the friendship of my husband above all others. I also learned the truly golden nature of those precious friendships that time and distance never do affect. :) Those now long-distance friendships only deepened for me -- and in God's providence, more were prepared for me to discover and mine.

    In your move I hope that you will find the same to be true. It often takes a year or two... patience is required. God bless!

    I'm so glad you stopped by my blog today. It was really lovely to meet you here...


  7. Wow ... I am so grateful to have read this post today - and the other one you tagged under boundaries. I can relate to them.
    I'm in the midst of learning that someone I thought was a close friend really wasn't a true friend at all. The Lord has used the some of the scriptures you've quoted to teach and show me my error. I am far too trusting at times.
    Reading this was confirmation of some things God has been revealing to me. Thank you for being so open and honest! You blessed me today. :)