<<good judgment>>

Discretion is the mature and sound insight or ability to avoid words, actions, and attitudes which could result in undesirable consequences. It is characterised by a cautious, reasoned plan, thoughtfully considering possible outcomes and so speaking fitting words and acting with integrity knowing

God gave us brains to use

impulsive words and actions often hurt people and damage relationships (1 Chr 12:32; Prov 5:1,2, 10:32, 11:3). In contrast, a person lacking discretion often rushes in without knowing the facts, is careless, irresponsible and is easily lead into sin with the Bible warning against this behaviour (Eccl 5:1-7). Instead of using their brains to make sound choices by searching for wisdom and insight, a person not exhibiting discretion has a loose tongue and gossips instead of keeping confidence (Prov 2:1-6, 11:12,13; Lk 14:28-33). Wise counsel needs to be given in an emotionally explosive situation: “Consider carefully…For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men, you will only find yourselves fighting against God” (Act 5:33-42).

Abigail, who later became the wife of King David, was praised by him for her discretion in defusing a situation in which he was about to make a serious unwise action; “Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from working salvation with my own hand!” (1 Sam 25:33). Abigail’s good sense made David look wise rather than foolish. Later, David prayed that God will give discretion and understanding to Solomon when he becomes king, so that Solomon would keep God's law (1 Chr 22:12).

Discretion keeps our minds and focus on sound judgment, living a God-honouring life (Rom 12:2,9, 14:19,22).

The book of Proverbs gives insight into this desirable quality. Living with discretion guards a person, prevents disaster and adultery for it indicates wisdom, allowing them to be patient and being aware of danger avoid it (Prov 2:11, 3:21-26, 5:3-8, 8:10-14, 19:11, 22:3).

See also: discernment, gossip, insight, integrity, perception, response, understanding, wisdom/wise.