Wednesday’s Word to the Wise: To Discern or Not to Discern

Hunger Games

As many of you know, I work in a library. Freedom of information is the highest value among most librarians, and I certainly value being able to read what I want to read without anyone looking over my shoulder. This passage from Proverbs today reminded me that there is a very fine line between “censorship” and “discernment,” and the latter is often mistaken for the former in library circles!

When the Hunger Games trilogy was so popular a couple of years back, the librarian and I made a judgment that we wouldn’t stock those for our library, simply because we discerned that they weren’t right for our elementary students. We had very limited funds for buying new books, and didn’t want to spend that money on books that only a few might be ready to read. After all, the subject matter was very intense–kids had to kill other kids in order to stay alive themselves. When one or two of the older kids asked for the books, we simply directed them to the public library up the street or to wait a few months until they were in middle school, because the middle school library would have it for sure. Discernment, or censorship?

Here’s what Proverbs 2:21-24 has to say about “sound judgement and discernment”:

My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

For friends new to this blog, “Wednesday’s Word” is a weekly Bible audio clip that rotates between Genesis, Luke and Psalms. Occasionally, I post “Wednesday’s Word to the Wise,” a short Bible passage on what it means to be wise, in honor of Sophie Topfeather, the main character of my upcoming children’s series–who is seeking to be a very wise owl!

On Sundays, I post an article-type post on themes in the novels: faith, friendship, diversity, etc. Thanks for reading! Feel free to share!

About Sonja Anderson

I write novels and picture books for children, and occasionally an article or short story for adults, too. I grew up in Ohio, and I have lived in Chicago, Connecticut, Boston, Tokyo, and Seattle. The beautiful Pacific Northwest inspires me every day.
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