“A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge;
but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”
- Proverbs 22:3
I overheard one of my managers in baseball once say to a teammate of mine,
“Son, did you forget your CCS today?”
To which he, of course, said, “My what?”
“You know! Your CCS, Certificate of Common Sense.”
That has always stayed with me, mainly because the guy that he was talking to probably couldn’t spell CCS, let alone actually comprehend what he just told him, but also because it’s so true.
The fact of the matter is that sometimes we make life too hard.
Sure there are tough times we don’t see coming like illness, loss of a job, or even natural disasters that cause pain and struggle in our life, but that’s not always how hard times come. I’d venture to say that 90% of the problems we go through in life are self-inflicted wounds.
We all desire wisdom in our life to make the right decisions. We want God to show us the right way to go so we can have the least amount of pain and highest amount of gain. However, when God does show us the direction to go or the right decision to make it, doesn’t mean we always listen. The wise decision is clearly in front of us, but more times than not we choose to go our way. And when it goes bad we blame God when we are flat on our face in a pile of our own mess.
The writer of Proverbs would call these two types of people “prudent” and “simple”.
Prudent people find wisdom and follow it regardless of the happiness it will allow them. Simple people think their 3 pound brain has all the answers and thumb their nose at God’s wisdom.
Here are some examples:
Prudent Person: Sees marriage as covenant between a man and a woman and chooses to honor, love, and work hard to make the marriage work through all things.
Simple Person: Sees marriage as a contract that can be broken at the slightest hint of weight gain, money loss, or stress.
Prudent Person: Sees their finances as stewardship of God’s resources and desires to honor Him in the way they give, save, and spend.
Simple Person: Sees their money as fruit of their hard work and therefore can spend it however they like, even if that means spending money they don’t have.
Prudent Person: Sees work as a privilege and wants to work with integrity, good work ethic, and in a God honoring way to all that see them.
Simple Person: Sees work as a right and works just as much as is needed while looking for the most pay for the least amount of effort.
Some of these misguided ways are a product of our environments to be sure. Where you grew up, who you grew up with, and what you saw while you grew up will shape your expectation for these and many other things in life.
However, I don’t see that as an excuse to stand on too long, because what is right and what is wrong will shine through in High Definition clarity in spite of environment. The reason is that we have the choice on what and who we follow.
“Do not make friends with a hot tempered man,
do not associate with one easily angered,
or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.”
Choose good people to associate with and wisdom will be close. Choose to place yourself in positive environments free of temptation and wisdom will be close. Choose to place your trust fully in Jesus and wisdom will be close.
There are situations in life where right and wrong can seem hard to identify, but more times than not the right thing to do is a matter of common sense. Regardless of whether a decision is hard or easy, the root of all wisdom is never found within us, but in our pursuit of God’s will and character.
Pursue Him in all things and you will never have to wonder where you put your Certificate of Common Sense.