Why should my three-year-old not use the permanent markers to illustrate his room, his bed, and himself? Isn’t it common sense?!
Why should my nine-year-old not ram her bicycle into the back of the toddler’s tricycle in order to push him along? Isn’t it common sense?
Why should my older boys take baths more than twice a month? Isn’t it common sense?
Why shouldn’t that teenage driver blow through the stop sign in front of my house? You’d think it would be common sense.
How could anybody with a brain vote for [you fill in the blank]? It should be common sense, right?
Perhaps what I think is common isn’t so common after all. When the country is divided in half over which candidate is best, where does common sense leave us? I have a sense and you have a sense about what is right, and if our senses don’t agree, can we really follow the rule of common sense?
The spirit of the age is “follow your heart,” “do what feels right,” and “go with your gut.” As Luke Skywalker flew his X-Wing over the Death Star towards his tiny target, he heard the ghost of Obi Wan urge, “Trust your feelings, Luke.”
New Age religions are not really new. They are based on ancient philosophies. Buddha taught that divinity is within, and you find true enlightenment through your own experiences. Truth is found within yourself.
The Bible teaches the opposite. Truth is external and must be taught, coming from the Supreme and Sovereign God, Creator, Sustainer, Savior. God created us, and we are not Him. He speaks to us through His word, through His Son Jesus.
Wisdom is not something that just comes through experience, but true wisdom comes from fearing God. Notice the following from Proverbs:
1.29 Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the LORD,
1.30 They would have none of my counsel
And despised my every rebuke.
8.13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverse mouth I hate.
9.10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
15.33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom,
And before honor is humility.
What is fearing the Lord? It’s listening to and obeying Him! It’s setting aside your common sense and relying on God’s sense, which may sometimes not make sense to you. It’s relying on something outside yourself–God’s word–to determine your destiny, your path, your goals.
Man’s “common sense” can become his way of following his own authority and rejecting God’s. I must teach my children not to rely on their common sense but to constantly ask, “What would God have me do? How does God discern this situation?”
The Jews in Thessalonica were called NOBLE because “they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17.11). They didn’t blindly accept Paul’s preaching; they verified it through studying God’s word, which was their ultimate and final guide. It didn’t matter that Paul’s preaching made sense to them or not; they double checked. If they determined the teaching to be from God, they followed it.
Man’s philosophies often make sense to us, and sometimes we accept them because they sound reasonable. But that doesn’t mean they are right. God declares what is right and wrong, and we don’t really have a say in the matter! He’s the one who rules; we don’t.
Fearing God isn’t common sense these days. But it’s still the way to true wisdom.