Prudent is defined as acting with care and thought for the future. The synonym of “prudent” is “wise.” Did you know that in Christ you are prudent and have access to God’s infinite wisdom?
“Whoever Brings Blessing Will be Enriched” Proverbs 11:25
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PRUDENCE AND WISDOM
Sometimes, we confuse wisdom for smarts. Intelligence has nothing to do with wisdom.
I have 4 diplomas indicating my intelligence. I graduated from 4 universities and 3 of them with high honors. Yet, I was not wise, aka unwise.
What does it mean?
Being unwise means acting with no care of thought for the future. I wasn’t a Christian. I didn’t know Jesus. Nor did I have a clue that my future was eternity, not just a mere tomorrow.
The Bible actually uses certain adjectives and nouns to describe people who are unwise. The Scriptures describe unwise people as “mockers,” “fools,” “stupid,” “lacking knowledge and understanding,” and “simple.”
If I was so smart, why was I unwise, aka stupid, simple, foolish, and a mocker?
I was sleeping around because of my sexual addiction. I was not in a personal relationship with Jesus and I didn’t know how He set me free from sin.
I was an alcoholic and got drunk regularly to calm down my anxiety. I didn’t know Christ. I didn’t know about the relief of casting my anxieties on God. I didn’t know that He cared. I lacked the knowledge and understanding of the healing power of prayer vs alcoholic beverages.
I was overspending and getting myself into debt. I had a desire to feel good about myself. I thought that new shoes, purse, dresses, and a push-up bra would make me feel accepted. I didn’t have a clue that I was a child of God, the King of the universe. I lacked the knowledge and understanding of the most important truth: I was a beautiful Princess and a royal heir. My inheritance was God’s kingdom.
PRUDENCE VS KNOWLEDGE
Be careful not to confuse the word “knowledge” the Bible uses to talk about prudence and wisdom with our secular understanding of the word “knowledge.”
Ephesians 1:17 explains the kind of knowledge the Bible references when using this word:
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe.”
The “knowledge” in Scriptures is the personal encounter with Jesus.
It refers to the fear of the Lord. It means the thorough understanding of grace and salvation. It implies that the person knows about eternity being spent either in hell or in heaven.
As Christians, we should never practice wisdom and live with prudence out of fear of judgment. If we have the “knowledge” the Bible speaks about, we know that Jesus died and bled for our sin to set us free from it.
We must desire to live a prudent life out of gratitude for God’s grace and our salvation.
The best definition of prudence and explanation of what it means to be prudent is found in Proverbs.
Very often, as I get ready for bed, I turn on a reading of proverbs on my Holy Bible app and enjoy getting knowledge and understanding.
Proverbs 8:12 defines prudence as if wisdom itself were talking about this topic:
“I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence;
I possess knowledge and discretion.
To fear the Lord is to hate evil;
I hate pride and arrogance,
evil behavior and perverse speech.
Counsel and sound judgment are mine;
I have insight, I have power.
By me kings reign
and rulers issue decrees that are just;
by me princes govern,
and nobles—all who rule on earth.[a]
I love those who love me,
and those who seek me find me.
With me are riches and honor,
enduring wealth and prosperity.
My fruit is better than fine gold;
what I yield surpasses choice silver.
I walk in the way of righteousness,
along the paths of justice,
bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me
and making their treasuries full.”
As you can see, being prudent results in having a direction in life. Without the direction, I was wandering around seeking happiness and got myself into trouble.
In 2014, I gave my life to Jesus. He’s been teaching me wisdom. The direction of my life has become more clear. Clarity and focus are of God. Confusion is not.
my baptism video
It’s taking Jesus years to rid me of my pride, arrogance, and perverse speech – all the things you saw from Proverbs wisdom hates.
For three years after my baptism, I still had anger, rage, self-righteousness, and used profanity to express my point of view.
The more Jesus worked in my heart and the more I dwelled on His gift of my salvation, the less anger there was and the more I wanted to honor God with my life and character.
I’m far from being perfect, of course. But I do have more peace, joy, love, faithfulness, self-control, and other Fruit that Proverbs talks about.
The justice, wealth, riches, and full treasuries that Proverbs refers to are not worldly money but our kingdom inheritance.
Being wise, not getting myself into debt, and paying for things with my debit card instead of using credit cards, I’m much closer to financial peace. However, it’s not like I became a millionaire once I accepted Jesus as my lord and savior. Even though, some people do!
*******Instagram video about Dave Ramsey in kayak
But! I can testify confidently that I’m much reacher in peace and joy than I was without Jesus and His wisdom.
I have the riches of contentment. I don’t need to use self-righteousness and anger and profanity to defend myself. I have joy in my heart and I know that my path is directed by my Lord.
And that’s priceless.
PRUDENCE VS FOLLY
Prudence is consideration of the future as we discern how to behave and what actions to take. Lack of such consideration is folly, according to the Bible.
Folly stands for foolishness, or a lack of good sense. It means doing what feels good. It refers to the way of life that doesn’t delay gratification and pursues immediate pleasure.
It’s the kind of lifestyle I lived for decades. And the Scriptures make it very clear what the result of such lifestyle will be eventually.
Proverbs 14:8 says this:
“The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways,
but the folly of fools is deception.”
I lived a foolish lifestyle. I didn’t have much wisdom. I wasn’t prudent. And so I got deceived.
video about Satan looking saint
PRUDENCE AND DISCERNMENT
Why was it easy to be deceived when I lived a foolish lifestyle and didn’t give much thought to the future? Because I didn’t have God’s discernment.
Proverbs 14:15 says this:
“The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps.”
The “steps” are behaviors, actions, choices, and patterns of living. The verse above is on point. I didn’t give much thought to my patterns of living. I didn’t give thought to my steps and I ended up deceived.
God is warning us. We need to know this.
When I wanted to finally become prudent and gain wisdom, where was I supposed to get it? How could I all of a sudden have good discernment?
Proverbs 14:18 answers this question:
“The simple inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.”
When we give our lives to Christ, we inherit the crown of knowledge. Remember that knowledge refers here to wisdom and prudence?
Have you ever walked into a room with a beautiful Christmas tree there seeing clearly the gift wrapped beautifully and marked with your name?
And then you got distracted and left, forgetting the gift…
The gift was already yours. It had your name on it. It belonged to you. It was assigned to you so you can have it. Its purpose was for you to enjoy it.
The only reason why you still didn’t have the gift is because you didn’t accept it. You didn’t take the gift that was yours, so you couldn’t enjoy your gift.
I found out from studying the Bible that the prudence and good discernment were already mine because when I accepted Jesus as my lord and savior I was crowned with knowledge.
The only reason why I had not yet had the crown of knowledge and prudence is because I never reached out for the gift to take it and have it.
Once I accepted the crown of knowledge that was already mine, I began making better decisions, having better discernment, exercising wisdom, and being prudent.
Trust me, I’m far from perfect but my life is so much better now that I do give thought to my steps.
PRUDENCE AND A BETTER LIFE
How is my life better now that I am being prudent? So glad you asked!
Proverbs 22:3 answers this question:
“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”
I don’t do stupid things like I did before. If I see the situation arise in which anger and rage can take over, I humble myself and take refuge in prayer. If I see the danger of bitterness and resentment from unforgiveness about to poison my heart, I take refuge is God’s command to forgive one another and love my neighbor. If I see the danger of anxiety and fear coming up, I take refuge in God’s peace by reciting His truth out loud.
Being prudent doesn’t just help us avoid trouble. Prudence leads to a peaceful and joyful life. Wisdom gives us the gift of contentment. When we have peace, joy, and satisfaction with what is, we are rich people. That’s why the Bible says that wisdom is more precious than money.
Thanks to God’s word and His wisdom, I’m more careful, reasonable, certain, and decreed, finally.
I’m no longer confused. I’m no longer guided by my impulses. I give thought to my behaviors and decisions based on objective truth about my eternity. It’s way more concrete than feelings or emotions.
I’m aware, rational, logical, and concrete. I don’t follow whatever feels good. I try my best to stand of God’s promised and honor His commands for my behavior and character.
I love my life now that I give thought to my steps.
What about you?
If you are in Christ, the gift of wisdom and prudence is already yours. When you accepted Jesus as your lord and savior, you were crowned with knowledge.
Do you believe that you have God’s wisdom? Do you believe that you are prudent and not simple?
If you do, memorize the Biblical affirmation below and practice it regularly to remember that you have God’s prudence and good discernment.
I am prudent.
I’m prudent and show a keen mental discernment.
My conduct is in accordance with God’s word determined.
I’m careful, reasonable, certain, and decreed.
I’m aware, rational, logical, and concrete.
What are some of your steps to which you will now give thought? Share with me your behavior transformation in the comments below so that I can cheer you on!
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Anna Szabo is the founder of Online Discipleship For Women, a Christian ministry committed to alleviating suicide among women globally by sharing hope in Christ. Anna teaches how to create a joyful life by embracing God’s word based on her own journey of faith and fortitude.
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