Wednesday, September 24, 2014

there's nothing common about sense

The Word for today:
Proverbs 1
mark this: Proverbs 1:2-7
Here are proverbs that will help you recognize wisdom and good advice, and understand sayings with deep meaning.
They can teach you how to live intelligently and how to be honest, just, and fair.
They can make an inexperienced person clever and teach young people how to be resourceful.
These proverbs can even add to the knowledge of the wise and give guidance to the educated,
so that they can understand the hidden meanings of proverbs and the problems that the wise raise.
To have knowledge, you must first have reverence for the Lord.
When we started the Stand in the Rain blog, I flipped through the 3-year reading schedule to get a sense of the task ahead of me: to write a Bible teaching blog every day without exception for 1100 days in a row.
That may sound daunting to you, but not to me. That's what I do in life. What you do--roofing houses, or selling insurance over the phone--sounds daunting to me.
So as I looked over the schedule, my confidence grew.
We would be starting in Samuel: King David, are you kidding me?--let me at it!
Then on to Ephesians: the highest spiritual peak in scripture--can't wait!
Then to Job: my fellow sojourner, born for trouble. That would write itself!
And so it went as I skimmed the schedule. Until I got to Proverbs: Uh-oh.
I must confess that except for a few sections and some scattered verses, I've never liked Proverbs. I have been on a regular Bible reading schedule for a dozen years, and whenever I got to Proverbs, I'd rush through them almost as fast as I rushed through the genealogies in 1 Chronicles, or the allotment of the land in the back half of Joshua.
I mean, following the glories of the Psalms, they were so common.
Exactly.  Proverbs is a repository of good common sense, which I used to take for granted, until life (especially mine!) showed me that the phrase "common sense" is an oxymoron! Common sense isn't, and never has been, common!
Proverbs is the most down-to-earth book in the Bible, full of practical guidance for making your way in the world. It covers small questions as well as large: talking too much, visiting neighbors too often, being unbearably cheerful too early in the morning…
Much of Proverbs' practical advice makes no mention of God, and can seem quite secular. But if you take the book as a whole, it becomes obvious that a healthy respect for God is so much--and so obviously--a part of common sense that it hardly needs mentioning at every turn.

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