Don’t smoke in bed. Don’t accept candy from strangers. Don’t put a butter knife in an electrical socket. For most of us these are rules that go without saying. There are many things in life that fall into the common sense category. There comes a particular time in life, especially for adults, when certain things shouldn’t have to be explained anymore; you should just know. However, I believe we give too much credence to common sense.
There are people asking for advice all the time, but have you noticed that there seems to be more people advising, than there are asking? We are living in a culture where EVERYONE has a platform, which tends to make EVERYONE an expert. Google any topic and you will find videos of Joe Schmo offering common sense advice to people who are looking to succeed and move to the next level, (no offense to any of my readers named Joe Schmo). I just really think that common sense is overrated.
Getting extraordinary results doesn’t always follow the preconceived blueprints; otherwise, everyone with the same pursuit would succeed with flying colors. On the contrary, many factors are at play. For example, everyone doesn’t have the same level of skill. Some people are just “better” than others. There is also the availability of resources, levels of support, and timing. Some factors we control and others are out of our control, so toting the line of common sense doesn’t always produce the desired result. For those of us not looking to just blend in, we have to remember one fact: wisdom, isn’t always obvious, therefore wisdom doesn’t equal common sense. Listening to the wisdom of God will always be more beneficial than conventional wisdom, but it may cause you to look foolish along the way.
Luke chapter 5 tells a story of some fisherman who were just getting off work after a hard night. Fishing on this particular sea was usually done at night, because fish were usually more active and had a harder time seeing the nets dropped in the darkness. On this night a certain foreman fisherman named Peter was cleaning his nets with his crew, having caught nothing. Ups walks Jesus, a carpenter turned teacher, who suggests they go back out and try again. I could imagine there being some irritation. I mean, they would be back that night for another days work, but here’s this guy who knows nothing about the conventional thinking of the trade, suggesting they do something completely opposite of what they should do. But Peter listens anyway.
I could imagine how foolish they must have seemed to the other fishing crews, after clocking out to go home, then going right back out at the wrong time. To everyone’s surprise, this bit of foolishness brings a catch big enough for Peter to retire on, all because he was willing to break convention and follow the wisdom of the rabbi.
1 Corinthians 3:18b says, “If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise.” (NIV) Remember, the wisest thing to do may not always be the most obvious thing to do. In order to get where you really want to go, you may have to forsake some common sense.
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