Rolling around in the muck, shoving their way to the scrap pile, scarfing down whatever food morsels they can find, bellowing unseemly sounds and producing foul odors… have you guessed which animal I’m describing? Yep, it’s the pig. Beside the fact that they give us tasty bacon, they are disgusting animals.
Brilliant, sparkling, some might even say breathtaking; expensive, with a spectacular beauty that lasts forever… the diamond is one of those timeless beauties that when worn by even the plainest of women, is strikingly gorgeous! One of Queen Elizabeth’s tiaras (for she has many tiaras) has 1,333 diamonds and weighs almost a pound! Now, that’s a tiara! No wonder they call a diamond a “girl’s best friend.”
The Book of Proverbs often gives wonderful word pictures, and when we take the time to meditate on them, they open up a whole world of understanding. Proverbs 11:22 says,
“As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.”
Imagine with me what it would be like if we took the Queen’s royal tiara and placed it on the head of a pig. What if you tossed every precious stone you and your mother owned into the stinky farm animal’s slop bucket? What a waste! What foolishness. No matter how good your intentions are, a beautiful piece of jewelry would not make a pig look beautiful, but rather it would make the piece of jewelry look ugly, degraded.
The verse compares this notion to a woman without discretion. Discretion means behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offense. So that would mean the opposite of discretion is behaving or speaking in such a way that causes problems (usually by degrading others and promoting yourself).
As young ladies, it’s so easy to let our mouths run rampant. Most of us enjoy talking, laughing, and joking around… that’s OK; we were created that way! The goal here is to speak each word, do each deed, with discretion – thinking about how your words or actions will affect others. Just as the beauty and value of a diamond is degraded when worn by a fat, slobbery sow, the same is true when we adorn ourselves with disrespect, haughtiness, selfishness, sharp words and unbridled sarcasm.
The older I get, the more I realize how inward beauty far outweighs the way one looks on the outside. In fact, an inwardly beautiful woman – one who has discretion, grace, and is loving and kind – is always attractive, for it is those godly qualities that make her beautiful.
Consider this: beauty is a choice of actions.
You can toss your beauty, your value, your “jewels” to the swine, or you can enhance your beauty by practicing discretion.