Uncommon

Occasionally I get visitors in the office who will ask why we've not been doing something that's "common sense." There's usually one of two reasons: it's not common sense at all but actually fairly destructive, or else we're forced to agree common sense is sadly lacking in the world today. As the saying goes, "Common sense ain't so common."

I can only speculate as to why this is so. It could be that parents aren't passing along life skills. Maybe schools aren't teaching critical thinking anymore. Maybe our degrees make us so specialized we can't grasp anything outside of our own field. Maybe human beings are just born dumber these days. Who knows? Regardless, what was once common is now uncommon -- downright rare, in fact. We have more knowledge than ever before, but we lack the wisdom to use it.

Interestingly Jesus has something to say about this. Matthew 10:16 says, "Be shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves." Another parable teaches us to be cunning and wise in this world (Luke 16:1-9). In short, we need common sense. We need street smarts. We should know what's going on in the world without getting caught up in it. We should be able to handle the tasks set before us. And if something doesn't make sense, we should be able to recognize that, step back, and evaluate.

Proverbs 8:11 says, "wisdom is more precious than rubies." Do we seek wisdom? Not knowledge, mind you, but wisdom? Do we pass that wisdom along to others, especially the next generations? Are we trying to be shrewd as serpents? Are we trying to exercise common sense?

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