Pick up a newspaper, turn on the radio, observe the conversations at the water cooler, listen to the needs of people who seek your counsel, and you will quickly come to the conclusion that something is desperately lacking in our world today: Good old fashion horse sense.
Read: Proverbs 8:4-6
“You—I’m talking to all of you, everyone out here on the streets!
Listen, you idiots—learn good sense! You blockheads—shape up!”
We live in the most advanced, sophisticated time in human history, yet we may be remembered in history for our foolishness rather than our wisdom. For instance, how dumb must we be to need these warnings spelled out on these everyday products?
“Do not use while sleeping.” The product? A hair dryer.
“Fits one head.” Really! So that’s why that hotel shower cap was so hard to get on both kid’s heads at one time.
“Do not drive or operate machinery.” This one was found on some children’s cough medicine.
“Instructions: Open packet, eat nuts.” This was on a package of nuts served by a major airline. Makes you wonder who the real nuts are?
Those are some of the more comical examples, but each day we see far more serious examples of wisdom that is missing in action in our government, in church leadership, and in our homes. That’s too bad, since God has made his common wisdom as plain as the nose on our face:
“Listen up people! This thing called wise living is not rocket science. You don’t have to be extremely intelligent, well educated or culturally sophisticated to get it. It isn’t hidden for the select few or the avant garde. It is pretty simple really, available to anyone who will open their eyes and ‘just get it.’” (The Message)
Let me restate what Solomon is saying: First of all, wisdom is obvious and available to all. He’s saying that God has not made wisdom the sole property of the super intelligent and the well educated; it’s there for the taking for one and all: “Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? She has taken her stand at First and Main, at the busiest intersection. Right in the city square where the traffic is the thickest.” (Proverbs 8:1-3)
Second, though wisdom is ripe for the picking, we must do our part to intentionally pick it: “Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” (Vv. 10-11, NIV) Wisdom won’t grab you; you’ve got to grab it.
And third, Solomon says that when we pursue this common sense wisdom we will have found the very essence of life itself. But if we ignore God’s wisdom, we have no one but ourselves to blame: “For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord. But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death.” (Vv. 35-36, NIV)
Too often we assume that wisdom is hard to find and harder to grasp, but it’s not rocket science! As Solomon would say, God has purposely made it so blockheads like me can get it. Where and how? As Solomon has already said throughout Proverbs: One, we must go to God and ask for it. Two, pursue it daily by getting into God’s Word. Three, we must stay alert for opportunities to intentionally apply it. And four, it doesn’t hurt to hang around those who’ve already mastered it because their wisdom will start to rub off on you!
“The next best thing to being wise is to live in a circle of those who are.”
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it: Who is the wisest person you personally know? Invite them out to coffee—your dime—and ask them to share their philosophy of living.