Are You Discreet?
IN APPOINTING judges over Israel, Moses strove to find “wise and discreet and experienced men.” (Deuteronomy 1:13) Experience, which came with age, was not the sole criterion. Wisdom and discretion were also important.
A person who is discreet shows good judgment in speech and in conduct. According to Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, the discreet person is also “capable of preserving prudent silence.” Yes, there is “a time to speak,” and there is “a time to keep quiet,” and the discreet person appreciates the difference. (Ecclesiastes 3:7) Often, there is good reason to keep silent, for the Bible states: “In the abundance of words there does not fail to be transgression, but the one keeping his lips in check is acting discreetly.”—Proverbs 10:19.
Christians are careful to be discreet in their dealings with one another. The one who speaks most frequently or most forcefully is not always the one most important or most indispensable. Remember, Moses was “powerful in his words,” but he could not effectively lead the nation of Israel until he cultivated patience, meekness, and self-control. (Acts 7:22) Therefore, those who are entrusted with authority over others must especially strive to be modest and to show a yielding spirit.—Proverbs 11:2.
Those to whom Jesus Christ has entrusted “all his belongings” are described in God’s Word as “faithful and discreet.” (Matthew 24:45-47) They do not immodestly run ahead of Jehovah on an impulsive whim; nor do they lag behind when God’s direction in a matter is clear. They know when it is time to speak and when it is time to wait silently for further clarification. All Christians do well not only to imitate their faith but also to prove themselves discreet, as the slave class does.—Hebrews 13:7.