(Proverbs 1:4 KJV) To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.
Proverbs are to teach “subtilty” (prudence NASB) (6195). But isn’t it an insult to be a prude? If we want to describe someone who is uptight, repressed and afraid of having fun we call them a prude. If someone is trying to get you to do something you know is wrong they call you a prude.
Once again popular culture takes a stand opposite of the word. This is a word that is meant as a compliment. It is a desirable trait. I like the KJV translation that brings in the idea of being subtle. It is interesting that the word also seems to have the idea of being “crafty”. This is another one of those words where context is so important. If you are being thoughtful, wise and insightful, it is translated prudent. If you are using that insight to be sneaky, underhanded and manipulative, it is translated crafty.
Again we see something that is god-given being polluted by sin. God gave us minds and intellect. We are supposed to be able to consider many details and come to an understanding. This is so we can be free agent of grace. I have read the statement “God didn’t make no junk.” I think in this case it could be stated “God didn’t make no robots.” It is very easy to take that ability to be free and pervert it into the chains of sin.
We have a Roomba. I don’t watch TV so I don’t know if advertising has made this well known. It is a robotic floor cleaner. It is about four inches high and a little over a foot round. It has brushes and whirligigs. It has multiple colored lights and assorted beeps and buzzes. You are supposed to able to push the button on the bottom and go have a cup of coffee while it cleans your floor. It is supposed to have a built in computer that remembers it route, what it has cleaned and how to get back to its docking station. It is full of promise, just like Adam and Eve.
Our Roomba has a sinful nature. It seems to look for ways to break out of its assigned area. At times we will find it at the other end of the house, stuck under a bed, merrily spinning its brushes or dead to the world. Rarely does it find its way home. We will find it worn out in the middle of the room. It isn’t as smart as it thinks it is.
If you confine it carefully, get all obstructions out of its way and put it back on its charger when it dies, it can “save” you some work. If you don’t watch it, you will trip over it in the morning on your way to start the coffee.
God has given you the ability that is claimed for a Roomba. Yours is real, it is just waiting to be set free from the sin that binds it. The Roomba is doomed to be crafty, through grace you can become prudent.
So? Do a system check. Are you freed by the blood of Christ from your viruses, bugs, poor programing and outright rebellion? Then enjoy the prudence that freedom can give. If not, it is time to update to a better operating system.