From Handbook to Wisdom, Day 253
LEARNING PRUDENCE AND DISCERNMENT
Whoever is wise understands these things;
whoever is discerning knows them.
The ways of the Lord are right;
the righteous will walk in them,
but transgressors will stumble in them.
Whatever is true, whatever is noble,
whatever is right, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is of good report—
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—
I will think about such things.
The things I have learned and received
and heard and seen in those who walk with Christ
I will practice, and the God of peace will be with me.
Although the following story is implausible, the twist at the end illustrates the triumph of discernment over pretense:
A defendant was on trial for murder. There was strong evidence indicating guilt, but there was no corpse. In the defense’s closing statement the lawyer, knowing that his client would probably be convicted, resorted to a trick. “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I have a surprise for you all,” the lawyer said as he looked at his watch.
“Within one minute, the person presumed dead in this case will walk into this courtroom.” He looked toward the courtroom door. The jurors, somewhat stunned, all looked on eagerly. A minute passed. Nothing happened. Finally the lawyer said, “Actually, I made up the previous statement. But you all looked on with anticipation. I therefore put to you that you have a reasonable doubt in this case as to whether anyone was killed and insist that you return a verdict of not guilty.”
The jury, clearly confused, retired to deliberate. A few minutes later, the jury returned and pronounced a verdict of guilty. “But how?” inquired the lawyer. “You must have had some doubt; I saw all of you stare at the door.” The jury foreman replied: “Oh, we did look, but your client didn’t.”
Wisdom invites us to become discerning and prudent.