(Proverbs 2:11 KJV) Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:
This verse needs to be understood in the context of a series of if/then statements. This is a promise of results “if” the right conditions are allowed to develop. What are the right conditions? The first four verses lay out the need to take in what God is trying to teach us. The next few verses talk about God giving. In verse 9 we have the “then” promise. This verse promises “discretion” (4209) and that it will “guard” (8104) us.
What is “discretion” (4209)? It has to do with making wise choices. I think of it as an ability that is useful on the fly, kind of a drive-through decisiveness, not a menu planning thought process. If we have stored the right values and principles away then we will make the right decisions when it is necessary to act quickly.
Perhaps a good example would be the reflexes of an experienced driver. Once years ago my wife and I were in snow country on the open road. The roads had been plowed and we were moving along at a good clip. Suddenly, for no reason that I could detect, the car began to spin. I did not need to stop and think, “Now which way to I turn the wheel when I start to spin?” If I had needed to think I would have been in a ditch. My hands and arms started turning into the spin before my mind understood what was going on. We need to develop that ability in our spiritual lives.
So? Get to know the word of God until it takes a pre-thought place in our minds. Many situations are things we should not need to think about if we are practicing. And when we do need to contemplate and think things through, I imagine it will help then, too.