The Problem with Common Sense
If you haven’t said it, you’ve probably heard something like—“Use some common sense!” It’s an admonition to use good judgment, act wisely, or think wisely before making a decision.
Whatever happened to common sense? If it’s so common, why isn’t there more of it? It turns out... common sense isn’t so common after all.
Sadly, common sense or sound judgment seems in short supply. The idea of good judgment that follows logical, rational thought just isn’t so common or ordinary.
There’s no question that it’s valued, but it doesn’t appear to be common for the general population. Why not? What seems to be the hindrance?
Common sense, in order to be good, sound judgment, needs to have a sound basis or origin.
Is there really such a thing as common sense? Yes, but at present, it’s suppressed in our culture by what’s popular, trendy, or whatever is most appealing.
When something is uncommon, it’s in contrast, or at least significantly different, from what is common. For something to be an exception to the rule, there needs to be a rule—a standard.
Currently, common sense gets pushed aside with a new common. The new standard is relativism and individual preference. These have become a new frame of reference for truth, morality, fulfillment, and even spiritual truth or spirituality.
When everyone has their own interpretation of the truth or what truth is, there’s no reliable standard to base truth on, which also affects what we accept as sound judgment.
The teachings of a wise person are a fountain of life
to turn one away from the grasp of death.
Good sense brings favor,
but the way of treacherous people is always the same.
Any sensible person acts with knowledge,
but a fool displays stupidity.
We can also describe common sense as discretion or wisdom. This is the intent and purpose of the Proverbs—to pass on common sense for a person to gain wisdom and use discretion in daily life.
Common sense needs a common point of reference as its basis—some understood standard. Otherwise, it has no lasting value. For navigating life, we also need consistent and reliable values.
So, what standard do you base your life values on? What truth are you relying on?
When you rely on your own interpretations of the Bible and its truth, you’ll run into the same troubles as others who choose to go their own way and common sense will elude you.
So, keep in mind—
Good sense brings favor
Do you think you have common sense and good judgment? What truth are you relying on?
If God’s truth isn’t your point of reference, you don’t have a trustworthy standard of truth and likely lack sound judgment.
Seek the Lord regarding whether or not you have common sense based on His truth.
Ask God to give you discernment and confirmation of what good sense is and if you have it and are experiencing His favor.
Ambassador, author of several books, and one member of the pastoral team of Poimen Ministries. This article was republished in part with permission.