Prudence: The Fourth Pillar

I’m trying to space these thoughts out a little, seems like it gives us time to digest and really take to heart this journey to discover the 7 pillars of wisdom. If you have been reading these, then you know by know that this has been a holy crusade, if you will, through the book of Proverbs to discover what Solomon meant when he said, “Wisdom has… hewn out her seven pillars…”

To” hewn out” is to carve out of something…something strong enough to sustain the building of the pillars.

“The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom” This is the foundation on which everything is built…Fear of the Lord: “To live a life in awe of God”

This is the beginning. When we can live a life in the utmost awe and glory and happy of God, then we can begin to understand the true heart of God, (Yes, I said Happy of God!)

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Here’s a quick review:

Integrity: It is the future of who you are, do what you say and say what you do!

Humility: Walking in True Identity

Honor: Value Relationships over Title or Position

Prudence: To possess insight and sound judgment, to be able to discern the entire scope of a thing.

It’s not a surprise that Prudence is the “middle” pillar. The Fourth of Seven. It sees what has been and what will be.

“I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence {sound judgment, insight}; I possess knowledge and discretion” Proverbs 8:12

St. Ignatius said this,

“Prudence has two eyes, One that foresees what one has to do, the Other that examines afterward what one has done.”

It sees what needs to be done, and it sees what that deed has accomplished. Prudence can also be compared to being shrewd or witty in any given situation. It’s being able to see what others cannot about a certain thing.

Have you ever known someone like this? Someone that could see what was and then see what is coming because of a certain action? Perhaps we can see this in the life of Joseph. His ability and gifts brought the greatest nation on the earth at the time to be prepared for something that could have been incredibly catastrophic. We need the gift of prudence, certainly in our lives today.

We live as if we can do anything we want, without considering the repercussions of our actions. We can take any number of issues today that are plaguing our world today. “Do not move the ancient boundaries” Proverbs 22:28 In other words, when we start messing with things that have been written on the hearts of men by the Creator, we have no clue what will happen to culture or society when these things are tampered with. It’s like removing the rudder from a ship and expecting to be able to navigate treacherous seas. It cannot be done. “You are meddling with powers you cannot possibly comprehend!” ~Marcus Brody from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Prudence sees this. It can detect what will happen when we start messing with boundaries, things set in place by the ancients. There is a reason that these things are in place. The key is not to simply move them, but to find out why they are there in the first place. 

We could make a laundry list of these boundaries.Killing the Unborn, Marriage, Sex, Drunkenness, Gluttony, Not having sex with your step mom…(Yeah it’s in there). We have spent a lot of time lately telling the american people and the church for that matter that these things are wrong and shouldn’t mess with the boundaries that God has set for His people, But what we haven’t spent a lot of time on is the reasons why…God wants the Best Life for His people. These boundaries aren’t meant to bind us, but rather set us completely free! Prudence sees this.

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God is giving us more than a long list of DO NOTS. Since He is our Creator, He knows how we should live. Why would the creation shake it’s fist at the creator? Prudence understands that “for every action there is a reaction” I think Einstein must have had the fingerprints of the creator on his heart to be able to come up with that statement.

“The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps.” Proverbs 14:5

Most of our Prophetic voices today seem to carry the gift of Prudence. They can see what must be done, and the results of what has been done. We can look to the history of any nation and see that sometimes the prophets were adhered to, and the results were amazing. Then other times, nations would not heed the word, and were punished and sometimes even completely destroyed.

Make no mistake, we are not immune to the same justice that ancient nations have experienced. Most of you who know me know that I believe that there is always hope. There is always the promise of redemption and restoration. But lately I fear as though we have completely lost the gift of Prudence. To be sure, America is not immune to the judgement of God. Most of the loudest voices seem to think that Government is the answer. Yes, I get it, trust me. I know that good government is healthy for the people. But this is about 4th in the list of priorities that we need to be focusing on. God is always teaching us to build a colony of heaven on earth, That’s really what the nation of Israel was supposed to be. A mirror of how God wanted his “own special people” to live. While I believe that government is essential and established by God (I mean he is carrying it upon his shoulders) this is not the ultimate answer. Unless we learn to govern ourselves, we can vote D or R or I or the whig party, it won’t change anything!

Prudence…is isn’t talked a lot about today, but so needed. Pray for the gift of Prudence, “for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young”

“The path of life leads upward for the prudent to keep them from going down to the realm of the dead.” Proverbs 15:24

Here are some closing thoughts:

Without Prudence we cannot see what must be done.

Without Prudence we cannot see what has been done.

Don’t move the ancient boundaries, we don’t know the repercussions if we do.

Culture and society are built on fundamental truths by God, govern yourself first.

Two-faced head fire and ice statue

Prudence: Be able to see the whole scope of a thing!

The Fourth Pillar

 

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