Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Knowledge + Wisdom = Common Sense

"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways." (James 1:5-8 ESV)

What is "knowledge"?
Aquaintance with truth, facts, or principles, as from study or investigation.
The sum of what is known.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction." (Proverbs 1:7 ESV)

What is wisdom?
"The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps."
(Proverbs 16:9 ESV)

"We must not confuse it with knowledge. Knowledge is information; wisdom is application. Knowledge is comprehending facts; wisdom is handling life. Knowledge is theoretical; wisdom is practical. We can think of it in terms of driving a car. We can have very good knowledge of a car and not drive very well at all!".      
-Opening Up James, Roger Ellsworth

What is "common sense"?
Common sense is defined by Merriam-Webster as, "sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts."[1] Thus, "common sense" (in this view) equates to the knowledge and experience which most people already have, or which the person using the term believes that they do or should have. The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as, "the basic level of practical knowledge and judgment that we all need to help us live in a reasonable and safe way".[2]

So, what do wisdom and endurance have in common? Is James speaking of two separate qualities here? I think not. Life's circumstances can manage you, or you can manage life's circumstances. What you cannot control can either bring you contentment ....or confusion.

Overheard In An Orchard
Said the Robin to the Sparrow,
"I should really like to know
Why those anxious human being
Rush around and worry so."
Said the sparrow to the Robin,
"Friend, I think that it must be
That they have no Heavenly Father
Such as cares for you and me."
-Elizabeth Cheney

Surely the poet was thinking of the Scriptures of Matthe 6:26.....
"Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?"

What is a present trial you face? Will you trust God's provision (present & future) and His guidance, jointly, through His communicated word and through the leading of His indwelling Holy Spirit? If you "will" trust God in your trials you can be assured of more to come ...because He "does have a purpose, and a plan, for you; plans for hope and a future. But you may also be assured of a growing contentment, and strengthened commitment, in how His all-knowing, all-powerful hand will guide you. Each of your struggles can become minor opportunities to bring major glory to a faithful, loving, just, and merciful Lord. These same struggles will bring joy, and fulfillment to an, otherwise, empty life.