Journal Proverbs 19 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Whoever gets sense loves his own soul; he who keeps understanding will discover good.
Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.”
Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.”
Prov 19:8, 11, and 2
Observation: Good sense as opposed to common sense. I think the Scriptures compare that quite a bit.
Analysis: Is there such a thing as common sense? I think so. But “common” sense isn’t necessarily good. Some “sense” that is called “common” may not even be godly.
Two traits of godly sense are the above: 1) Getting godly sense is good for me, it contributes to a godly understanding of what is around me, and; 2) It keeps my head and perceptions in perspective so that I don’t fly off the handle and I can overlook offenses.
I think in other words that pursuing after godly sense makes sense. But why and how?
Too often what is termed “common sense” is based upon nothing but logic. That’s not bad and I wouldn’t denigrate that, but logic is based upon postulates or particular assumptions. Therefore, pick the assumptions and I can build a logic around it. That is exactly what Adam did with the questions given by the serpent. What we got was religion and dead works and not life.
Key to getting “sense” is getting Understanding. Getting Understanding comes from what? The fear of the Lord, the love of the Word of God; in another way of saying “Pursue God.” There are a ton of verses in the previous chapters of Proverbs that are blunt about getting Understanding, wisdom, knowledge, etc. There are verses isolated to the practical outworking of what Understanding looks like.
In a bunch of these cases, that practical outworking of Understanding boils down to “run from evil, run towards good.”
In all cases, Understanding comes from Knowledge. Do I want to know about God, his lovingkindness, his beauty, his purposes? Then the primary way past the common grace of all creation is to learn His Word.
When I rely on the teaching of my experience, my parents, schooling, reading, etc., I will gain a certain “sense.” When it is shared by many other folks, it is called “common sense.” As a follower of Christ, I am called to pursue an extraordinary sense, a supernatural sense, a godly sense…a sense that is based on His Word.
It is a sense that is definitely not common.
Prayer: Lord, renewing my mind is tough. I have well worn grooves of thought that have served me well—and other grooves that are comfortable but are definitely not dependent upon You. My mind doesn’t renew in You because the comfortable is easy and change is hard—especially when all my life is reflexive away from depending upon You.
Renewing my mind takes determination. It is forcing Your Thoughts into and replacing the comfortable. But, as this happens, I see better. Understanding the world around me (and the face in the mirror), I know why I can overlook offenses purposefully and not resort to having an apathetic attitude.
Help me not to lose my drive to know You better, O God. I want to increase in my understanding of You as much as this created life can…AMEN.