Proverbs 8:12-14; Various
Common Sense is Cheap; Wisdom is Priceless
I heard someone comment that people don't have any common sense anymore. At first, I found myself agreeing with that statement... and then I thought about it. I know he meant that people just don't use good judgement. Of course he was using the word "common" in the sense that it's something that we all have in the community in which we live. But common also has the connotation of cheap and trashy. My grandmother once commented that make-up makes a girl look common and everyone in the room knew what she meant!
I believe that writer of Proverbs has a better handle on the problem. It isn't common sense that people lack but wisdom. In the book of Proverbs, Wisdom is personified as a woman, a teacher, who is trying to call people in from their "simple" and foolish ways.
“I, wisdom, dwell together with Prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion. To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power" (Proverbs 8:12-14).
Folly is also personified. She seems fun and inviting but she leads to laziness, pride, arrogance, adultery, foolish living, and death. Folly is depicted as a harlot who entices and seduces people into living by their selfish desires.
Wisdom on the other hand has built her house on the seven pillars. Pillars hold up the roof of the house which protects those in the house from the elements. The seven pillars of wisdom protect those within from the elements of evil, arrogance, and perversity.
Jesus built the blessings or beatitudes from the seven pillars (Matthew 5:3-12):
#1 Poor in spirit. Humble.
#2 Mournful. Hates evil, sighs and cries for the corruption.
#3 Meek. Mild disposition, subtle, wise as serpents, harmless as doves.
#4 Seekers of righteousness. Searching to do things God's way.
#5 Merciful. Compassionate, sympathetic, empathic.
#6 Pure. Free from corruption.
James also used these seven pillars when he said that we should seek wisdom from above: "Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness." (James 3:13-18).
Unfortunately, as one of the comedians says, "You can't fix stupid." You cannot make people wiser. They have to want to seek wisdom for themselves. You can pray for them to be humbled and seek wisdom but you can't "pray the stupid out of them."
You may not be able to fix others but you can receive wisdom for yourself. James 1:5 says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." The key to spiritual living is a humble and submissive heart. When you humble yourself and ask God for his wisdom you will receive it.
Prayer Thought: Dear Heavenly Father, It is easy to judge others who make foolish and careless decisions. But if I am honest I have to admit that I make a lot of stupid decisions too based on my own wants and desires. Help me to remember who I am in you and to seek your wisdom and discernment in making decisions. Help me to keep my mouth shut and not to hastily comment without seeking your wisdom. Thank you for Jesus Christ. It is in his name and authority that I pray. AMEN!