Proverbs 3:21 “My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them!”
Common sense is not so common anymore. Though seemingly outdated, it is still essential to survive and thrive in a rapidly changing world. But how do we acquire this necessary commodity? Google will not help us here. Common sense is developed by learning, reading God’s Word, life experiences, reflecting, comparing the risks and rewards and seeking wise counsel.
Proverbs 10:21 “The words of the godly encourage many, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.”
Exercising common sense in a particular situation does not mean we lack faith. When we have to make choices and are unsure which way to turn, we need not prove our faith by neglecting common sense. Running from a burning house or a raging bear, does not mean we lack faith or trust in God, but that we are simply looking at the facts and acting with wisdom or common sense: as God would intend us to do.
Proverbs 27:12 “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.”
In fact, it takes faith to use the measure of common sense that we have been given. Common sense means acknowledging the facts and facing reality. And that takes courage.
For some of us, common sense is superseded by blind faith. What do I mean by that? We have a faith that makes us blind to the reality of a situation and ignores the facts as they stand. We have an “I can do anything” faith in a God who will “uphold us in every situation”. Sound judgement and discernment takes second place to unrestrained thinking and impetuous acts of faith. We ignore the fact that God does actually allow us to experience fear when facing certain situations, to keep us from making wrong choices. Not every situation is for our best and it takes both a brave and discerning person to recognize this.
Proverbs 2:6 “The Lord gives wisdom, from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
For those, who like myself, desire to stretch their faith and step out boldly into new situations, there is a greater need for discernment of the Lord’s will and seeking Him for common sense. I abhor the thought that fear may rule my decision making, but God will often allow fear to be the factor that keeps us from danger or stepping into a situation that He has not chosen for us. Listening to our fears can be the very means of keeping us from the wrong path. Our loving God gives wisdom, so we need to vigilantly seek His will, His knowledge and His understanding in each new situation that requires us to make a decision.
We do not need to prove ourselves to God. He knows and loves us as we are. Striving to practice our faith, neglecting the reality of a situation, failing to use common sense and not listening to the fear that stirs our heart, does not bring God pleasure and mostly results in hardship and suffering for ourselves.