Did you say “Prudence”? Define.

April 20, 2008 at 10:32 pm 2 comments

I like to study words on occasion.  Prudence is the word I’m looking at for meaning right now.

Prudence has been described by classic thinkers as “the measure and form of all virtues.”  They said it was the springboard for every other.  It allowed knowlege and wisdom to be useful.

“Prudence” according to Wikepedia, has fallen a bit out of favor in English useage…reason being, it’s been misconstrued for having a lack of courage, or not willing to take risk.  In actuality, the original meaning of the word was to know the difference in reckless energy versus courage.

I mentioned the word “prudence because when I searched for it in three major Bible translations, it did not appear, whereas in my NIV commentary, the word (or forms of it) brings up TWELVE verses worth looking at.  I emailed the website and asked for their review. 

Prudence, according to this article gives us a prototype, or picture, of what we are to measure our actions by.  It’s how we formulate our “master-plan”.  It leads us to do what is best, irregardless of moral standards which may actually confuse.  What I mean by this is demonstrated by two examples given at Wikepedia.  One was in regard to “telling the whole truth, all the time”–one would not want to give company trade secrets to the competition in the name of “being truthful”, however. 

Prudence is able to distinguish personal motive…in this example, though a person may “feel good” for “being truthful”, it would cause great harm.  A prudent person weighs things.  

Another example given was drinking poison.  Where it is not morally wrong to drink the poison, and there may be no law against it, a prudent person would weigh the matter against the facts.

I said that prudence is “the picture” by which we formulate good plans.  I could not help but think that in Christian terms, our picture and goal is Christ Jesus.  Looking to Him, we are guided and led into paths of wisdom for his name’s sake!  We are courageous, bold, tenacious, but also know the place for gentleness, discretion, patience, and humility.  The prudent person, is well-balanced, experienced, honors people, and uses good judgment for given situations.  They can be trusted to use judgment.

In the Christian live, our guide toward helping us on this path is not just the proverbs, though they are a huge help.  It is also the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit who lives in us, guiding us in “level paths”.  The job of the Holy Spirit is to “conform us to the image of Christ”.  One measure we have of this maturity is the  working out of “prudence”.

I love to hear. “he/she is prudent”. 

Prudence.  I’m glad I wasn’t named “Prudence”.  That might have a stuffy ring to it.  But, I want to be known as a person of “prudence”, using good judgment, rightly applying wisdom, trustworthy, level-headed, able to be trusted, knowing how to manage situations.   

How do we develop “prudence”?

 

 

 

 

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Entry filed under: Everyday.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kim Heinecke  |  April 21, 2008 at 10:10 am

    Sounds like a Sunday-School answer, but the more I entrench myself in the Word of God, the more prudent I become.
    Good wisdom here.

  • 2. indyretreats  |  April 21, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    DE COLORES!!!

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