A Pig’s Snout

“As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout So is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion” (Proverbs 11:22). Dan Phillips (God’s Wisdom in Proverbs) explains:

The mental image is that of looking at a lovely, sparkling gold ring, admiring a twinkling in the sun—then seeing that it is in a pig’s snout. Wasted! Misplaced! Thus, Solomon says, is a lady with a beautiful outside and nothing going on inside.

Phillips actually translates discretion as “good taste.” Taste comes to mean a discerning palate; the ability to discern, to judge, to distinguish among “flavors” of good and evil, of wisdom and folly, as here in Proverbs 11:22. He goes on to say,

The picture is not simply of a pretty woman without a lot in the area of native IQ . . . . She is not simply “lacking,” but she “turns away.” This woman chooses not to develop her God-given brains, turns aside from the things that would develop her judgment and taste—primary among such things, of course, is the learning of the Word of God. The New Testament ties this all together for us and shows the way to having a discerning taste, in Hebrews 5:14—“but solid food is the diet of the mature, who on account of habit have their faculties drilled (or exercised) for distinguishing good from evil” (DJP).

A Discerning Taste! Oh how we can use this in so many areas of our lives, physically and spiritually. For me, struggling to feel well while eating food groups that I should avoid, or give up all together, but do not want to because they provide comfort, these foods that “taste” so good to me, and frankly, are the reason I get out of bed in the mornings, well, until my grandson came along, these habits lack judgment and taste.


Unfortunately, we live in a world where you can take what you want, and indulge as much as you want. Folly prevails over wisdom. It takes a whole-hearted effort to follow what the Bible teaches, “discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7). But when we develop a disciplined, discerning taste, it will sparkle and shine like a gold ring.

For me, I have chosen to acquire a disciplined, discerning taste especially for the next 30 days. For the month of September I will be fasting from dairy and sugar. Now if you know me at all, you understand this will be terribly painful. And if you don’t know me or you haven’t read my previous blog post, “Confessions of a sugar-holic!” it will explain all you need to know. This is something I’ve never wanted to do, but it is needed not only for the physical but more importantly for the spiritual. And making it public helps to stay focused on why I’m doing this and not “turn aside.” Lastly, I will be checking in each day to share nibbles from the Word of God that provide “good taste.” I hope you will encourage me on this 30 day quest, especially with your prayers. Thanks for following! And remember: Don’t allow a pig to wear your ring!

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