When I was in the fourth grade one Friday, I lacked discretion while in the company of my two friends. We had been sent to the library without the rest of the class for a specific assignment. It only took us about five minutes to find the required information. After that we sat at a table a safe distance from the library lady and started talking. I felt like a rocket close to blast off but had to stay in my seat while waiting the remaining 15 minutes until my weekend launched.
Well, you know how little girls can giggle. And I had to go to the bathroom really, really bad.
The library lady wouldn’t let me take a restroom break since we were only about five or ten minutes before the bell. I made the mistake of telling my friends my…um…situation. That was a mistake. They really had something to do now: make Kelly laugh—hard! On top of that I was already giddy, so everything was funny anyway.
I couldn’t make it through the frivolousness for that long, so I wet my pants!
Mistake Number Two
Mistake number two exited my mouth when I proceeded to tell my friends. Oh, and of course, they promised to keep it a secret.
Right about then the bell rang. My locker was almost right across from the library so my plan was to run to my locker real quick, tie my jacket’s arms around my waist, and jet out the front door to my mom’s car.
Unfortunately, my friends could run faster than someone trying to walk normally while wearing wet pants. By the time I had gotten to the locker area, my accident was already a hot topic. I found out which “friend” snitched on me, and I broke down and cried right there for a couple of minutes. At least the locker area had cleared out for the most part.
After I mustered up the courage to leave, I headed to the front glass doors of the school. There in the outside entranceway, I saw an unusual amount of kids making a commotion. Something seemed amiss. Split between relief that the attention wouldn’t be on me and concern for whatever could be wrong, I stepped outside. But as soon as I appeared, mockery greeted me. The ringleader pointed me out and led her singsong jeer louder:
“Kelly peed in her pants! Kelly peed in her pants!”
There were kids I didn’t even know joining in. Mortified, I ran to my mom’s car, climbed in quickly, slid down out of sight, and demanded my mom drive away now! TGIF took new meaning.
That story is my most embarrassing moment of childhood. It is certainly an example of not having discretion.
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Discretion will guard you, understanding will watch over you. Proverbs 2:11 NASB
Walking with Discretion
Four ways that help you walk with discretion are in the following section. Below each is a supporting verse because my first source of wisdom is always the Word of God. 🙂
Way #1: Understand Discretion
You can walk with discretion starting with an understanding of its meaning. Let’s start with the word discreet: careful and circumspect in one’s speech or actions, especially in order to avoid causing offense or to gain an advantage. The word prudent is similar: acting with or showing care and thought for the future. Discreet is the adjective form of discretion (the quality of being discreet), and prudent is the adjective form of prudence (the quality of being prudent). You’re welcome for the grammar lesson. There is a quiz at the bottom of this post. 😉
That you may observe discretion and your lips may reserve knowledge. Proverbs 5:2 NASB
Way #2: Guard Your Secrets
Guard the precious dreams and deep-rooted desires in your heart by being discreet with whom you reveal them. Who do you share your secrets with? It should not be everyone. It might not even be all of your friends. The Bible teaches us to be prudent. Not that you can’t ever share a wish with your neighbor’s-cousin’s-best-man-twice-removed while dancing at a wedding. But there is wisdom in not speaking all your mind to just everyone. As in my story above, you don’t want someone to shatter the secrets of your heart. Save your secrets for the ones you know you can trust. The ones who are sincerely for you.
When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent. Proverbs 10:19 ESV
Way #3: Choose Your Company
Unless it’s your spouse, beware walking and/or being alone with a member of the opposite sex in most cases. Many tragic circumstances would never transpire if we lived by some unpopular rules, like only allowing the young people to go out with a chaperone.
The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. Proverbs 22:3 ESV
Way #4: Be Skeptical (Notice I didn’t say be a skeptic!)
Don’t believe everything you hear or read. Much of it isn’t true. The spreading of false news is rampant nowadays. A well meaning person that you respect may not check a source and spread information that is inaccurate. Double and triple check sources. Why is this important? Influence. You are influenced by people. Are those people sending you in the right direction? Notice which direction your life is going. This could be in regard to eternity or in the habits of everyday life.
The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps. Proverbs 14:15 ESV
I will never forget my most embarrassing moment. Thankfully, everyone seemed to forget what happened over the weekend as the following Monday played out to be as normal as any other Monday. However, I learned a few lessons from that experience over the weekend. Most of all it is a reminder to be careful with whom I share private things. At any rate, I try to practice discretion.
Generally speaking, guarding what you let in as well as what you let out will help you practice walking with discretion. I’m thankful for these verses and the priceless wisdom to glean from them! I’m asking God for an increase of discretion in my life. Won’t you join me?