Every once and a while something comes out that needs to be said. It’s a wake-up call that grabs our attention. It doesn’t just touch us. It changes us. We wake up, shake up and put on our make-up. We apply it and we, and those around us, get better. It’s like medicine. We may not like it initially but it makes our lives better if we take it or apply it.
What am I talking about? It’s the death of common sense in our society and world. How do I say it? Common sense is quickly becoming uncommon sense. In fact, some say that common sense is dead. You may have seen a short writing called The Death of Common Sense. It’s written like an obituary. Below is a modified version of the writing originally attributed to columnist Lori Borgman.
“Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.
He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; Why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn’t always fair; and Maybe it was my fault.
Common sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults are in charge, not children).
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of an eight year old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch, and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student, but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses, and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.
Common sense finally gave up the will to live, after a women failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
Common sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by his four stepbrothers, I know my rights; I want my rights; I want it now; I’m a victim.
Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.”
This short writing may appear political to some, it is not. It’s reporting what is going on in today’s societies in many places of the world.
The Bible has much to say about common sense. It’s called wisdom. Wisdom is the proper application of knowledge through understanding. I posted a flyer to my Facebook this week that says: Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. Philosophy is wondering if that means ketchup is a smoothie.
Knowledge is wonderful, but it is the beginning, not the end. Knowing the ‘what’ without knowing the ‘why’ messes up the ‘how.’ That causes a death in common sense. That’s why God gave us the Bible. God shows us how to apply knowledge via Jesus. Jesus Christ demonstrates knowledge, understanding and wisdom working together in harmony.
If you want the wisdom to change the world, check out Jesus. And, by the way, use horse sense, it leads to ‘stable’ thinking.
Church-Community Connection is published weekly in 10 newspapers all over the world. Most of these newspapers are local paid subscription newspapers. The goal of these 450 word articles is to build a bridge to the community through humor, wisdom and changing mental perceptions that the community has of the church.