Yesterday my oldest son and I were having a conversation about discretion. “What is discretion?” he asked. “Well, it is deciding how to act or talk BEFORE you respond to situations,” was my impromptu reply on a second grade level. This took me back two years ago to having a similar conversation with him. At that time, he was in kindergarten and after school one day, we began to discuss his time away from Mommy. He proceeded to tell me about a person in his class of whom he did not approve; I believe that his description of this other student was that “they gave a really dumb answer.” I quickly asked him if he said that aloud and he replied, “No, I ‘leaved’ it in my head.” I was so proud of him and never forgot his maturity in this statement.
I never forgot it for my own practice either. How many times a day do we need to close our mouths and open our hearts? Just this evening, I was tempted to make a quick judgment and in thinking through the situation further, my heart was opened with compassion for the people involved. Mark 6: 34 says, “And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.” This word “compassion” is the same Hebrew tense used in discussing the prodigal son’s return to home. His father’s heart was full of grace and joy.
When your heart is consumed with godly compassion, great things take place. You begin to make a difference for eternity. The added benefit: Your own heart becomes as the Father’s, full of grace and joy.
Great spiritual advice, that whole “leaving it in your head” thing; isn’t it?