Discretion and Verbal Grenades

August 21, 2012 — Leave a comment


Proverbs 2:11 Discretion will preserve you…

I don’t think I’ve ever heard a sermon on discretion in my life but I know without a doubt it’s important.

The basic definition is the “Ability or power to decide responsibly.”

I believe a great place to learn to use better discretion is in our relationship with others. Words have power to heal or crush. We are called to use words of healing, not words that wound and crush.  Allow me to give you my definition of discretion as it relates to relationships.

In my economy, I would say it means to be good at learning to keep your foot out of your mouth in order not to hurt someone by something thoughtlessly said.

It’s learning not to use the truth to hurt someone for the sake of proving your point.

It’s learning how to say things that gets the message across in a kind way.

In other words, when you disagree with someone and want to give him or her critical feedback, you don’t need to be so cold as to cover your rudeness up with the excuse of saying, “I’m just giving honest truth-telling.”

Honest truth-telling can become a war where all you end up doing is throwing verbal grenades in order to win your point, instead of winning the heart of the person you are dealing with. Discretion keeps the pin in the verbal grenade.

We need to share with people careful words that lead and instruct them, not careless words that shame them.

It has been said, “Discretion is the salt, and fancy the sugar of life; the one preserves, the other sweetens it.”

In Short, Proverbs 15:1-2 says it well, “A soft answer turns away wrath. But a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.

NOTE: We all fail from time to time but that’s not an excuse to keep throwing verbal grenades. I’m working on me…you work on you.


What are your thoughts? Share by leaving a comment.

Steve Wright

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Lead Pastor of Legacy Church and Author of The Descent to Compassion

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