We like rules. Rules are specific. Rules are precise. Rules provide a measuring stick of how well we are doing—and loopholes to do what we want.
This may be why many people do not like discernment: It is neither as rigid nor as clear-cut as rules. For while discernment affirms that right and wrong exists, it also acknowledges that vast territories of amorphous gray areas fill our lives. After all, if gray areas didn’t exist, why would we need to separate good from evil? They would already be separated for us. Therefore, discernment depends on the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law.
The result is flexibility—flexibility for ourselves, flexibility for others, flexibility to handle the unexpected and ever-changing. With discernment, we can adapt with circumstances and culture. We can provide room for growth and diversity. We can acknowledge that what is wrong for us personally many not be wrong for another.
In short, discernment says, that although truth is not relative, it’s application to life might be, which in turn eliminates our ability to judge one another yet holds us all accountable before God.