Common Sense

“Any enterprise...becomes strong through common sense. ” Proverbs 24:3

By John E. Schrock, Businessman

Underline the key concepts found in this principle.

Common sense is not so common anymore. If we can understand its value and apply it as a part of our lives, we will have learned a lot. Life is not meant to be complicated. It is only when we get away from common sense that we lose ourselves in confusion. Common sense is sound logic, practical reasoning or simple equations. The end result of common sense is practical wisdom. The prodigal son wandered away from common sense until he was eating with the pigs. He finally came back to his senses (common sense) and went home to where he belonged. Sometimes we get so educated that we can’t even think in a practical way. Common sense is the ability to reason out problems and find practical and sensible ways to overcome them. Education may not necessarily give us that. We must have education, but without common sense (practical reasoning) it loses much of its value. We should always have our dreams and goals, but we must always blend them in with common sense so they will come true. Otherwise, they will only remain dreams.

Common sense is familiar areas or things common to us; therefore it may vary in people. Many times we are taught how to do things in a certain way. This way becomes common to us, until someone finds a more simple and better way of doing it. Common sense would then teach us, "Let’s change our ways." Likewise, a nation’s culture may tolerate bribes, lying and cheating. Common sense, however, would tell us not to do it because it is morally wrong and will hurt us as individuals as well as our societies. So, common sense may also become habit or tradition to us, which can stifle our personal growth and keep us bound by tradition. Sometimes our religious beliefs will stand in the way of progress, because we refuse to follow truth or common sense.

The opposite of common sense would be stupidity or being dense. How many times have you heard someone say, "I was stupid," which could mean he was out of touch with reality? If we follow that which we know is right, it is usually common sense, because Proverbs says, "A man who steers away from common sense will end up dead" (Proverbs 21:16). Our plans can be so rigid that we forget to listen to our heart, which is normally suggesting the use of common sense. We must remember that our minds can get so pumped up that we get on a high and get out of touch with ourselves and reality and do stupid things. God gave us the ability to reason, but He also reminds us to stay in touch with our common sense. Plans without the virtue of common sense are like laws without mercy, no second chances, or life without forgiveness. No family, business or nation can survive without this virtue as a part of their planned strategies. Common sense will suggest change or adjustment as you proceed. It is God’s way of balancing our plans with His, and keeping us from failing. Common sense will give us:

1. A practical mind and good logic.

2. An open mind.

Through life’s experiences, we calculate and observe things. This should create common sense in us - sometimes called "the gut feeling." We need to be sensitive to those feelings. They may not always be right, but it may be a warning that we are entering an unfamiliar area. We then operate in this area either in faith or in fear. It’s in these moments when we must call on common sense to speak to us and protect us as we walk through the minefields of life.

This principle is part of the one year character development program: Foundations For Achievement.

Thoughts to Ponder:
We were all born with our eyes closed and our mouth open, and it takes a lifetime to reverse it..