Leave it Alone!

My grandson is ten months old.  He can crawl to any destination he desires.  One of his favorite spots is the dog’s dish.  His parents wisely moved some things out of his reach – choose your battles – but the dog dish remains in place to teach him one simple word: no.

When he touches the dog’s dish, Daddy or Mommy says no.  He understands their meaning, but sometimes CHOOSES to touch the dog’s dish anyway.  That’s when his cute little patty gets a little smack.  It does hurt him; there are no bruises – the only thing that is bruised is his sin nature.

So what happens as he nears the dog’s dish the next time?  He stops.  His little hand reaches out and then he pulls it back.  He reaches again, wavering – you can almost see the thought processes!  “I want to touch that dish, but I know Mommy and Daddy don’t like it, and the action will cause me pain.”  Does he understand why they don’t like it?  No.  Does he understand germs?  No.  He only understands that his little patty hurts and his parents do not want him to touch it!

Why are the things that God has placed in the “do not” category entice us so?  Why are we drawn to those things that God has labeled “sin”?  Why do we wrestle so much with deciding what is sin and what is not?  Let’s blame Eve! 🙂 Do you see her hand hovering over the forbidden fruit as she makes her choice?  God and Adam have said ‘no’.  Satan, disguised as her favorite pet, says ‘yes’.  We read about her choice and suffer the consequences.

Dear Christian, are you wrestling with sin?  Has Satan tempted you into doubting God?  I just read an article written by a gay man who attended BJU.  It broke my heart.  He experienced all the dark sides of that institution and others; and many gray areas were tainted because of his mindset.  If only we could see where our sin will take us – it is NEVER closer to God!  Sin will always cost more than you want to pay and take you further than you want to go.  (Thank you Rand Hummel!)  Keep your hands out of the dog’s dish!

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” Romans 7: 24,25

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Common Sense for Uncommon People

Common sense –  dictionary.com describes it as sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge, training, or the like; normal native intelligence.  (Normal native intelligence?  That’s scary!)

Yesterday, as I watched a man stand beside his car and blow his nose in the cold and snow instead of getting into the car and out of the weather before taking care of the task, I wondered where the common sense was in that.

Is common sense a dying art in America?  Are we teaching common sense in our schools?  If common sense is practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge or training, then how do we gain common sense?  Are we really calling common sense instinct?  Even in the act of finding a good definition of a word, we must use common sense!

As I started writing about common sense based on that definition, I didn’t really agree with it. Soooo, I looked it up under oxforddictionaries.com.  Wow!  Read on: common sense: good sense and sound judgement in practical matters. (No wonder I’m always misspelling judgment!  I must be English!)

Now I’m on a roll!  At dictionary.cambridge.org, common sense is defined as the basic level of practical knowledge and judgment that we all need to help us live in a reasonable and safe way.

The bottom line is this: where do we get common sense?  Are we born with it?  Does it hinge on the disciplines of our parent’s parenting?  Does it come with experience?  Is common sense the same thing as wisdom?

Take a look at dictionary.cambridge.org’s definition of wisdom: the ability to use your knowledge and experience to make good decisions and judgments.

Oxforddictionary.com: the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement; the quality of being wise.

Put the two definitions for common sense and wisdom side by side, and we see that they are very similar. So, we throw out the first definition realizing that we must gain wisdom or common sense through knowledge as well as experience.  Is common sense in the Bible?  No, but wisdom certain is!  In fact, it is mentions 226 times.  Would it seem reasonable to say that the waning evidence of common sense in our society is directly related to the waning interest in the Bible?

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:

 a good understanding have all they that do his commandments:

 his praise endureth for ever.  Psalm 111:10 

Perhaps the children’s song is for all of us:

Read your Bible pray every day

and you’ll grow, grow, grow! (in common sense!)