That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.Titus 2:4-5
Discretion can be a hard thing, especially for women, as we love to talk! The Bible says "In a multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise." (Proverbs 10:19) That's how gossip starts. And slander. And friendships get cut off, and people get hurt. Not a fun cycle, but because women of this day and age have no discretion, that is exactly what happens.
Can we as Christian women set an example to the world, or have we also been sucked into this? Let us take a closer look at discretion, shall we?
The Dictionary describes it as "Careful and circumspect in one's speech or actions, esp. to avoid causing offense or to gain an advantage; curbing one's desires and impulses, self-controlled, temperate." Some synonyms are, maturity, prudence, carefulness, thoughtfulness, and wisdom. Okay, so we get a general idea of what it is. Now what does the Bible have to say about it?
Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. – Proverbs 2:11
As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion. Proverbs 11:22
The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going. Proverbs 14:15
He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he. Proverbs 16:20
He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him. Proverbs 18:13
The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression. Proverbs 19:11
Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. Ecclesiastes 5:2These are just a few verses that talk about discretion, or some form of it. So we know what it is, and what God has to say about it, so what does it look like in our lives?
Have you ever heard the saying, "Input, output."? What you put into something is what you will ultimately will get out of it. If you put a pizza in the oven, you will pull a pizza out. Same concept with your mind and heart. If you are constantly talking or thinking about what so and so said about so and so, guess what you are going to be talking about?
If you have ever noticed the headlines on the magazine racks at the grocery store, you already know that the world is all about getting the inside scoop or digging up dirt on people because that is what we are naturally drawn to. We enjoy talking about people, and getting in all those little details that are "important", because God has made us naturally curious, but with that curiosity, there must be wisdom to know what not to explore, or what not to look at.
Ever catch yourself telling a story that may be true, but you feel this check in your spirit about sharing it? That is your conscience telling you that what you are about to share isn't the best thing to say, or isn't the most encouraging thing you could say to this person, or will probably cause an offense with the person you are talking about. It is always best to listen to that little voice and not share it. Even if you are in the middle of the story, you could simply stop and apologize for sharing that and explain that you don't think you need to share this story. Not only will you feel better, but the person you are talking to will respect you, and will know they can trust you.
Think about this for a minute; if the person you are talking to is gossiping about someone, what makes you think that they won't turn around to someone else and talk about YOU? You have to guard who you talk to, and what you talk about.
Now, what I am about to say next may be hard, but it is necessary. Daughters, do not, I repeat, DO NOT speak evil or wrongly about your Dad, Mom, or your siblings. This may seem like it is obvious, but we tend to do this, and it could really ruin the very relationships that you are trying to build! Also, wives, Don't talk bad about your husbands or share your marital problems to everybody. Share your heart with only a trustworthy friend or two who will point you back to Christ, but no gossiping. This could really tear your marriage down.
Discretion is a huge issue in our society, and we as Christian women really need to be setting an example in our church, community, and world. You never know who is listening!