1. While imitating former President George Bush, the Saturday Night Live comedian Dana Carvey used a phrase that made him famous, "Wouldnât be prudent!" Instead of becoming resentful of Carvey, the President used prudence to invite Dana Carvey and his wife to the white house where the two men became good friends dispelling any rumors that the President held a grudge against the comedian. Prudence is the capacity to exercise sound judgment in practical matters especially as it concerns oneâs own interests. Paul, the apostle, was a prudent man who showed wise discretion in the way he avoided detection and escaped destruction from his Jewish enemies. Solomon once wrote, "A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it." (Prov. 22:3) Ask the Lord to help you exercise prudence in all of financial, interpersonal and spiritual concerns as Paul did.
2. Paul gained prudence through the leading of the Holy Spirit. All the careful planning in the world is not enough unless the Spirit of God is leading, enabling and fighting for us. Ask the Lord to help you to look to the Holy Spirit for His prudence in all dealings.
3. Paul gained prudence by following the example of Jesus Christ. Jesus was willing to suffer for the best causes. Paul learned how to pick his battles carefully. So many people find themselves getting into minor disputes because they lack the prudence to choose the best battles to engage in. Ask the Lord to help you choose the struggles that are really worth fighting for.
4. Paul gained prudence through his quiet times of meditation and prayer. Paul gained increasing prudence through a lifelong long discipline of daily devotions. Scriptural meditation allows you to let the word of Christ dwell with all wisdom. (Col. 3:16) "Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness. Godliness is profitable in all things in this life and also in the age to come." (I Tim. 4:7,8) Ask God to help you build up to at least one hour of daily devotions where you can enrich your sense of Godly prudence.
5. Paul contrasted his former worldly prudence with his new spiritual wisdom. When we draw sharp contrasts between worldly and spiritual prudence we are able to make better choices. Paul shifted his emphasis to using spiritual prudence to navigate his way to higher levels of mental, emotional, social, ministry, financial and spiritual maturity. Ask God to help you follow Paulâs example of applying prudence to all dimensions of life.
6. Paul gave consistent praise and thanks for the prudence given to Him in Christ. The great apostle continually thanked God for the rich prudence given to him in the words, person and ministry of Jesus Christ. Do not fail to make a habit of thanking the Lord for all the prudence you possess in Christ. Ask the Lord to help you to appropriate all the prudence, power and resources that are yours in Christ.
7. Paul demonstrated his prudence by bringing to bear all his connections, political skills, education, cultural insights and common sense to escape the plots of the Jews. Sometimes people can be na•ve in thinking that God will take care of them even if they do not exercise sound judgment. Ask the Lord to give you the prudence to bring to bear all kinds of resources in every situation.
8. Paul worked with and through the prudence of the entire body of Christ. Few people possess sufficient wisdom to make the best decisions. Ask the Lord to help you cooperate with the members of the body of Christ who can help you make the more prudent decisions in various predicaments.
9. Paulâs prudent love for the Lord allowed him to endure suffering and shame without giving in to feelings of fear or anger. Many people give in to feelings of anger or fear when they are pressured or put in stressful situations. Ask the Lord to help you to remember what Jesus said, "As the Father has sent me, so send I you." (John 20:21)
10. Paul prudence allowed him to work around the legalism, traditionalism and bureaucracy of the religious leaders. Ask the Lord to give you the prudence to make the most of every situation instead of giving in to feelings of despair, frustration or apathetic indifference.