Chances are that if you are a saint who has sought out and embraced godly wisdom, you also have an attribute called prudence. What is prudence? According to Webster’s 1828 dictionary, which defined words based on Biblical contexts, prudence is “wisdom applied to practice.”
Taking into account Bible verses that mention it, a prudent person is one who does all of these following things:
- Fears the Lord to accept his wisdom. Wisdom and prudence are a package deal so when a person receives godly wisdom, they automatically get prudence as a bonus (Proverbs 8:12).
- Conceals (gathers and guards) godly knowledge (Proverbs 12:23).
- Deals with knowledge (Proverbs 13:6). In other words, they know how to handle and distribute godly knowledge.
- Understands his way (Proverbs 14:8). They consider the consequences of their actions taking into account the environment where they will carry out their actions. In other words, they walk circumspectly (Ephesians 5:15).
All of these things can take place simultaneously when prayer and meditating on God’s word take place regularly. They may not even notice all of these things are going on inside them because prudence can sometimes be as automatic as blood flowing through one’s veins. Proverbs 22:3 explains the end benefit of having prudence in a general way that has a seemingly infinite number of ways it can be applied to everyday life–
A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
Prudence gives foresight to discern an evil outcome and avoid it or take the necessary steps to deal with the evil. In the general sense for all believers, we have the foresight of knowing what the consequences of a life without Jesus as our Lord will be, so we run to him to hide ourselves in him.
This foresight doesn’t mean we’re supposed to always know when something bad is going to happen because, as all of us who have lived long enough in Christ know, bad things happening to us can help strengthen us in our relationship with Christ. But prudence can give us enough foresight to know we can keep worry in check since God always works things out for us.
Foresight resulting from prudence can be as simple as taking steps to insure our financial stability so we can minister to others (beginning with our families) or can be as profound as a prophetic word from the Lord to get us prepared for a future spiritual challenge, as Agabus did for the church in Acts 11:28. All in all, prudence is just one more tool Jehovah provides for us by his Son, the Lord Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit so we can be spiritual preppers who navigate life in these last evil days with grace, poise, and valiance.