Looking around at the world situation it occurs to me that the last thing this place needs is “common sense.” The vast majority of sense doesn’t seem to be very good. The thought processes that represent the common view, common perspective, or common acceptance don’t seem to be serving our communities very well at all.
I’ve been thinking that, as Christians, we are supposed to possess the opposite of “common” sense – we need “uncommon” sense. When I was a kid and trying to get my folks’ permission to do something or go somewhere, I would fall back to what I thought was an unarguable standard, “But, all the guys are doing it.” My Mom or Dad would quickly retort, “If all the guys jumped off a bridge, would you? Just because they’re all doing something stupid doesn’t mean you have to!”
But today it seems that if everyone (or at least the majority of people) decide that jumping off the bridge is a good idea, we’re all supposed to happily follow – without asking any questions. What has become “common,” everyday, majority sense might not be such a good idea for Christians desiring to live righteously in our communities.
The spiritual sense of Ephesians 4:1–3 is not a very common sense.
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
I don’t even find much of this kind of sense being lived out inside common churches today.
Our communities, even our church communities, are more closely following the “common” sense of “if you’re wronged – get even” or “if someone says something bad about me – I’ll return the favor” or “I’m not going to be that religious – people may think I’m weird”… “nobody else takes the things of God that seriously – why should I?”
It sounds a lot like when I was a kid, “I won’t believe that, or do that, because nobody else is… it’s not the common sense thing to do.” The almost mocking words come back, “Just because everybody is jumping off (or away from) the uncommon sense of the “Christian-faith” bridge doesn’t mean you have to.”
Ephesians 4:14-16 tells Christians not to think that way,
so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
But, if I want to do the righteous thing instead of the common thing… live a life giving glory to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ… how do I do that?
Again, Ephesians gives us the direction,
Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about Him and were taught in Him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:17-24)
Just because the majority of our culture agrees that a lifestyle of sin is acceptable or even cool, it doesn’t mean that we should follow the “futility of their minds – darkened in their understanding.” Christians need to be “renewed in the spirit of our minds and put on the new self of righteousness and holiness.” That’s not common but it is the course of action pleasing to the living God. I’ve been thinking about…
Taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Putting on the mind of Christ…
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:14–16)
Having the mind of Christ and taking every thought in life captive to obey Him may not be “common” sense, but it makes “uncommon” sense to me.
Think about it….