I recently was talking with some friends about common sense. Just what is common sense? More to the point, what is it to a believer? Is it even something a believer should have? Does the Word suggest anything about this?
Some of the statements made intrigued me, some enlightened, and a few disturbed me. Thus I have found myself chewing on the subject, hoping to discern the precious from the dross. Even as I write this, I am prayerfully considering those statements, especially those that disturbed me, for I know that we all see in part, and we all know in part. I may not be comfortable with all that was said, but I am determined to glean the nuggets of gold within and make them my own. Hopefully any that may have disagreed with me will be doing the same.
I would like to start by asking a somewhat rhetorical question. What is truth? God is truth, His Word is truth, and the things of the Kingdom are truth. This then is the yardstick against which we must prayerfully measure all things. I say prayerfully, because we can only rightly understand His Word as the Holy Spirit grants understanding.
“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, ‘He catches the wise in their own craftiness’” (1 Corinthians 3:19)
In this, as in all things, we need the Spirit of God to quicken our minds, casting the light of revelation before us, so that like the Bereans, we can rightly divide the Word of Truth.
So then what is common sense? This is a term we throw about freely, Thomas Paine used it in 1776 as the title of his dissertation challenging British authority and setting forth the case for independence. We use it both as a command and derisively, but like most cliches, few of us have taken the time to think about what it means or how it applies. Let us then take a moment to define it, for it is important that we are all on the same page. Mirriam-Webster defines common sense as: “Sound and prudent judgement, based on a simple perception of the situation or facts.” The American Heritage Dictionary puts it this way: “Sound judgment not based upon specialized knowledge; native good judgment.” The phrase itself is from the Latin sensus comunis, literally common feelings of humanity.
Perhaps then the question we should be asking is not do we, or should we as believers have common sense, but rather is our sense or perception of the facts common or uncommon? I would suggest that they are decidedly uncommon, for we see, or at least we should be seeing things not as they are to the natural eye, but as they are in the Spirit. That is, all we encounter must be perceived from a kingdom perspective as the Holy Spirit grants discernment and revelation. In that sense we do not have common sense, but something better, for our sense is supernatural in origin, flowing from the very mind of God. It is there for each and every believer to appropriate, it is constantly flowing from the throne to our hearts, and it is unerring. All we need to do is listen to that still small voice that is always there, ready to lead us into all truth. He is speaking to you even now, will you listen?