Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah demonstrated discretion by purposing to stand alone. They refused to eat the king’s meat that had not been killed according to the standards which the Lord had given to Israel. They realised that the immediate consequences of their actions (possible death) would be nothing compared to the long-term outcome of disobeying the Lord (Daniel 1:8-19).
When David and his men were hiding out in a cave, Saul came along, and slept the night in that very cave. David’s men urged him to kill Saul and take his revenge, but David refused to harm Saul. He refused to put forth his hand against the Lord’s anointed. David exercised discretion in avoiding an action which would have resulted in undesirable consequences (I Samuel 24).
When Hezekiah became king, he exercised great discretion. The bronze serpent, which Moses had made at the command of the Lord when there was a plague of poisonous snakes, had become an idol. The Israelites had even begun to burn incense to it. Although the immediate consequences of destroying the idol could incur the Israelites’ wrath, Hezekiah knew that the long-term consequences of idol worship to the spiritual health of the nation would be far worse (II Kings 18:1-7).
Ananias and Sapphira attempted to deceive the Holy Spirit by keeping back part of the price of the land which they had sold, yet making out that they had given all the money to the church. They did not demonstrate discretion by considering what would happen if they lied to the Lord. As a result of their deceit and lack of discretion, they were both struck dead (Acts 5:1-11).