5 Bible Verses on Discretion that Tell Us How to Live

What does the Bible say about discretion? Here are some Bible verses on discretion including some biblical insights.


When I was in the fourth grade one Friday, I lacked discretion while in the company of my two friends. We had been sent to the library without the rest of the class for a specific assignment. It only took us about five minutes to find the required information. After that we sat at a table a safe distance from the library lady and started talking. I felt like a rocket close to blast off but had to stay in my seat while waiting the remaining 15 minutes until my weekend launched.

Well, you know how little girls can giggle. And I had to go to the bathroom really, really bad.

The library lady wouldn’t let me take a restroom break since we were only about five or ten minutes before the bell. I made the mistake of telling my friends my…um…situation. That was a mistake. They really had something to do now: make Kelly laugh—hard! On top of that I was already giddy, so everything was funny anyway.

I couldn’t make it through the frivolousness for that long, so I wet my pants!

Mistake Number Two

Mistake number two exited my mouth when I proceeded to tell my friends. Oh, and of course, they promised to keep it a secret.

Right about then the bell rang. My locker was almost right across from the library so my plan was to run to my locker real quick, tie my jacket’s arms around my waist, and jet out the front door to my mom’s car.

Unfortunately, my friends could run faster than someone trying to walk normally while wearing wet pants. By the time I had gotten to the locker area, my accident was already a hot topic. I found out which “friend” snitched on me, and I broke down and cried right there for a couple of minutes. At least the locker area had cleared out for the most part.

After I mustered up the courage to leave, I headed to the front glass doors of the school. There in the outside entranceway, I saw an unusual amount of kids making a commotion. Something seemed amiss. Split between relief that the attention wouldn’t be on me and concern for whatever could be wrong, I stepped outside. But as soon as I appeared, mockery greeted me. The ringleader pointed me out and led her singsong jeer louder:

“Kelly peed in her pants! Kelly peed in her pants!”

There were kids I didn’t even know joining in. Mortified, I ran to my mom’s car, climbed in quickly, slid down out of sight, and demanded my mom drive away now! TGIF took new meaning.

What Does the Bible Say About Discretion?

That story is my most embarrassing moment of childhood. It is certainly an example of not having discretion.

That’s why the following Bible verse on discretion stood out to me so much when I found it. I took it to mean that it’s a guard for my life!

Discretion will guard you, understanding will watch over you. Proverbs 2:11 NASB

Discretion is a guard for my life! #LiveYielded #ThrivingInChrist Click To Tweet

That’s So when I studied more on what the Bible has to say about discretion, I saw some valuable truths on ways to live a life of prudence and tact. These ways include understanding discretion, guarding your secrets, choose your company, and being skeptical (in a good way!). Let’s look at these insights in more detail.

Guarding what you let in as well as what you let out will help you practice walking with discretion. Learn four specific ways to walk with discretion.

4 More Bible Verses About Discretion

Four ways that help you walk with discretion are in the following section. Below each is a supporting Bible verse about discretion because my first source of wisdom is always the Word of God. ๐Ÿ™‚

Way #1: Understand Discretion

You can walk with discretion starting with an understanding of its meaning. Let’s start with the word discreet: careful and circumspect in one’s speech or actions, especially in order to avoid causing offense or to gain an advantage. The word prudent is similar: acting with or showing care and thought for the future. Discreet is the adjective form of discretion (the quality of being discreet), and prudent is the adjective form of prudence (the quality of being prudent). You’re welcome for the grammar lesson. There is a quiz at the bottom of this post. ๐Ÿ˜‰

That you may observe discretion and your lips may reserve knowledge. Proverbs 5:2 NASB

Way #2: Guard Your Secrets

Guard the precious dreams and deep-rooted desires in your heart by being discreet with whom you reveal them. Who do you share your secrets with? It should not be everyone. It might not even be all of your friends. The Bible teaches us to be prudent. Not that you can’t ever share a wish with your neighbor’s-cousin’s-best-man-twice-removed while dancing at a wedding. But there is wisdom in not speaking all your mind to just everyone. As in my story above, you don’t want someone to shatter the secrets of your heart. Save your secrets for the ones you know you can trust. The ones who are sincerely for you.

When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent. Proverbs 10:19 ESV

Way #3: Choose Your Company

Unless it’s your spouse, beware walking and/or being alone with a member of the opposite sex in most cases. Many tragic circumstances would never transpire if we lived by some unpopular rules, like only allowing the young people to go out with a chaperone.

The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. Proverbs 22:3 ESV

Way #4: Be Skeptical (Notice I didn’t say be a skeptic!)

Don’t believe everything you hear or read. Much of it isn’t true. The spreading of false news is rampant nowadays. A well meaning person that you respect may not check a source and spread information that is inaccurate. Double and triple check sources. Why is this important? Influence. You are influenced by people. Are those people sending you in the right direction? Notice which direction your life is going. This could be in regard to eternity or in the habits of everyday life.

The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps. Proverbs 14:15 ESV

Practice Walking with Biblical Discretion

I will never forget my most embarrassing moment. Thankfully, everyone seemed to forget what happened over the weekend as the following Monday played out to be as normal as any other Monday. However, I learned a few lessons from that experience over the weekend. Most of all it is a reminder to be careful with whom I share private things. At any rate, I try to practice discretion.

Generally speaking, guarding what you let in as well as what you let out will help you practice walking with discretion. I’m thankful for these verses and the priceless wisdom to glean from them! Even though I live with much more tact now, I’m asking God for an increase of discretion in my life. Won’t you join me? You can begin by praying the Bible verses about discretion from this post!

Click here to download or print the Bible Verses on Discretion


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42 Comments

  1. Oh how cruel kids can be. This is a great teaching on discretion. You’ve shared some truly wise words again Kelly! Praying you sense and increased anointing to share His Word.
    ~Sherry Stahl
    xoxo

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Thank you for those prayers, Sherry! Soooo much! Saying a prayer for God to increase your territory! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      I appreciate your sharing, Bethany! Many blessings!

  2. Dr. Miriam says:

    This is an awesome teaching on discretion. Thank you.

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Quite welcome, Dr. Miriam! Praying for you today!

  3. generalkat says:

    After reading your article I realized that I have been too “indiscreet” about sharing with others of my dreams. Some have ridiculed me for thinking I could even write a book and now say it’s difficult to even have it published. I feel have been discouraged as I shared my thoughts without realizing there would be opinions that would affect me. Thanks for your insight and wisdom on keeping our deepest dreams and goals to a select few who will encourage and give me hope.

    1. Yes, surround yourself with people who will believe in you. It makes all the difference. Happy writing! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Discretion is definitely an attribute of the godly woman and man. Everyone can benefit from this great article.

  5. Kelly, there is much wisdom to be found in this post. We surely do not need to share all things with all people. There are things we are meant to hold close to our heart. Thank you for this reminder!

    1. The verse that says to guard your heart with all diligence came to mind when I read your comment, Joanne. That’s another one that is useful to keep us out of trouble. Right? Blessings!

  6. So true! I needed to be reminded of these truths and apply wise boundaries with casual acquaintances and those who do not know the Lord yet. Such a great, timely message. Thank you!

    1. I needed to be reminded, too. I’m just about to write these verses in my journal! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. What a horrible experience – but thank you for turning it into a life lesson and then sharing it here!

    1. It honestly doesn’t bother me anymore. Actually, I’m glad to have gained the wisdom from that experience and the blessing of sharing it with others. Many blessings, Michele!

  8. Dear Kelly, what wise words from such a hard lesson! For me, walking the tightrope between discretion and transparency is the challenge. Perhaps it all comes down to trust and discernment. Thank you for sharing practical ways to be discreet. Have a blessed day!

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Discretion and transparency sounds like a good plan, Alice!

  9. Liz Giertz says:

    Oh, my! I’m so sorry for your young self! But what wisdom you’ve culled from that experience. Thanks for opening my eyes to the flip side of discretion. I’ve typically only thought about it in terms of keeping other’s secrets, not in how much of my heart I share with other! Blessings!

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      I used to have problems on both sides of the coin but that is another blog post. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. What a hard lesson to learn! Yes, discretion is key for young and old alike.

  11. Oh dear, Kelly! This reminds me of when I wet my pants in kindergarten because I was too scared to ask the teacher how to flush the toilet that was different than the one we had at home…

    Thanks for your wisdom on discretion. I’ve been praying for God to help me with this lately.

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      It’s a good thing to pray for! Praying for an increase for all of us every day.

  12. Kelly, I admire your bravery in sharing this. I too had an accident in second grade that scarred me socially for years. That incident taught me about forgiveness, both for others and for myself. You have unearthed a gem of wisdom, and your transparency is an amazing testimony as well!

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Thank God He’s healed me so completely that it doesn’t bother me at all to talk about it. I’m glad for the gained wisdom, Sarah! It sounds like God healed you, too.

  13. I was a big fan of Everybody Loves Raymond back in the day and there was an episode about this very subject–played to comedic perfection, Kelly. I think just about everyone has one of these embarrassing stories in our childhood or teen years–where they are so ripe for mockery by our peers. I am so sorry you had to face that but I love how you’ve repurposed that painful moment into a lesson on discretion in relationships. It’s true that we need to be careful who we open up with and trust. Thanks for reminding us of those important truths and principles today!

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      I’ll have to try to find that episode and watch it!

  14. Oh Kelly – this is a hard story to share. Mortified doesn’t come close. xoxo

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      It could have been worse, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. Love the final point, about being skeptical. I think we really do have to protect ourselves in this way, especially spiritually. Reminds me of the Bereans! It’s ok to listen to people, but you’ve always got to see if what they are teaching aligns with scripture before applying it to your life.

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Yes, the Bereans! May we all search the Word like they did.

  16. Awww, Kelly! In 7th grade, I got my period at summer camp during the ending service when I was in front of everyone while wearing white shorts. Yep, I was that lucky!
    Love your tips and examples!
    Visiting from #SittingAmongFriends

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Oh, wow! I think I’ll take mine over yours!

  17. Lots of embarrassing lessons from our youth, aren’t there? ๐Ÿ™‚ Seems like discretion is one of those things that experience is the best teacher for. Great tips, Kelly. Thanks for sharing them. — And, congrats for being a drawing winner with #ChasingCommunity today! Yay, so thrilled for you, friend. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you could send me your info I’ll get your journal right out to you. ((xoxo))

  18. So much truth here, Kelly. I learned this the hard way as I believe many of us do. I shared myself with a dear friend over 25 years only to have her distort many of the things I’d shared and use them against me. I’m afraid it’s made me overly cautious. I like your word discretion, it’s praying for God’s wisdom before I open my mouth. A good decision no matter the circumstances. Blessings and hugs!!

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      I’m sorry your friend did that to you and I can understand being cautious! I’m thankful God gives us the wisdom to move forward even when it’s been a painful lesson to learn. Many blessings, Deb!

  19. Oh, man…I wet my pants in grade 2. I had to pee so badly and the teacher wouldn’t let me go. It was incredibly embarrassing – then I had to wear these awful brown polyester pants that were in the lost and found bin. Because of my experience, I let my students go to the washroom if they cannot ‘hold it’ for a few minutes.
    I also appreciate your wisdom on using discretion of what we tell people. I had to learn that lesson the hard way. I enjoy your posts, Kelly! Thanks for sharing on Grace and Truth.

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Oh, wow, Aimee, I’m sorry that happened to you. I don’t think some adults realize how sensitive kids can be. Thanks for joining us here, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. I would also add to your point about the company you keep… who you voluntarily associate with as friends or associates matters! Their values and habits tend to rub off. You might not even realize it’s happenings. I feel like this is in the book of Proverbs somewhere. Great post.

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