Patricia Heaton is a Hollywood actress known for her comedy and her Christianity. A friend sent me one of Heaton’s recent tweets, and I thought it summed up the way a lot of us are feeling these days.
Heaton wrote, “If you are a common sense person, you probably feel like you don’t have a home in this world right now. If you are a Christian, you know you were never meant to.”
Heaton has been living in Hollywood’s culture for some time. Feeling out of sync has come to feel normal to her. A lot of us are new to that path. We grew up during a time when our Christian values were not only accepted but respected.
Common sense doesn’t seem as common anymore.
IS COMMON SENSE COMMON?
Merriam-Webster defines common sense as “sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts.”
I looked up the definition because I thought common sense might mean the perception that most people held in common. That’s actually the definition of democratic thinking.
Patricia Heaton was right when she wrote that “common sense people don’t have a home in this world right now.” Why is that?
Common sense is “sound and prudent judgment.” Common sense is based on “a simple perception of the situation or facts.”
When I read the definition, my first thought was this: There is a LOT of Scripture that is not common sense because God’s ways are not common.
Consider these examples:
- “Noah, I need you to build an ark. A really big ark. You build it and I’ll take care of the rest.”
- “Jonah, tell them to toss you in the sea.”
- “Moses, I need you to confront Pharaoh and tell him you need to walk off with most of his workforce. Oh, and by the way, you don’t need to worry about the Red Sea.”
- “Joshua, I want you to gather all the people and cross the Jordan River today. Yes, Joshua, I know the river is at flood stage, but it isn’t a problem.”
- “Hey everyone, you just need to march around Jericho a few times each day. The fortress walls will simply fall down and then you can take the city. Oh, and remember to save the prostitute and her family.”
- “Gideon, send most of your soldiers back home. That’s the best way to fight your enemies.”
- “Mary, you are going to have a baby. And, by the way, Elizabeth is pregnant too.”
- “Peter, leave your fishing business and family behind because I have a better deal for you.”
- “With just a little faith, you can move mountains.”
- “You can be forgiven of everything.”
- “You can do all things . . . when I strengthen you.”
- “You can live eternally in heaven.”
AREN’T YOU GLAD GOD IS UNCOMMON?
American’s have been raised to value democratic thinking. It was easier when more of the nation shared or valued our biblical point of view. No generation has ever lived perfectly, but some have lived with higher standards.
Biblically, a family is supposed to include a dad, unless there was a tragedy. A married couple is defined as a husband and wife. The sexual relationship is a blessing for a man and a woman after they commit their lives to each other and to God in a wedding. Children are created to be raised by both parents who want them to thrive physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Scripture teaches us to forgive, even when wronged. Scripture teaches to give and not just keep. Scripture teaches to love, even when someone is not loveable. And Scripture teaches us that the God of the universe “so loved the world, that he gave us his son” (John 3:16).
Living for God has rarely been the democratic choice, but it should be common sense. God’s plan is “prudent judgment based on facts.”
THE SIMPLE PERCEPTION OF THE FACTS
Pew Research published “20 Striking Findings from 2020.” It was a fascinating and sobering article. I found the following two points thought-provoking and in some ways prophetic.
- “Around half of Americans (49%) say the Bible should have a great deal or some influence on the laws of the U.S., including 28% who say it should take precedence when it conflicts with the will of the people.”
- “A large majority of US adults (86%) say there is some kind of lesson or set of lessons for mankind to learn from the coronavirus outbreak, and about a third (35%) say these lessons were sent by God.”
What should be our commonsense perception about the statistics above?
The facts tell us that people who believe God is in control of our world and should be in control of our choices make up about one-fourth of our population.
Is common sense less common than you thought?
CHRISTIAN COMMON SENSE
Patricia Heaton was right: God’s people have never felt at home in the world. We weren’t supposed to feel like the earth is our home.
Jesus said, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
He also said, “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:2).
Common sense and the Bible both indicate Christians won’t have much in common with the world.
When the Holy Spirit entered our lives, we became uncommon people with common sense. Through the Holy Spirit, we have all things in common.
There is a great need in our culture today for joy, encouragement, and trust. Our job is to help people gain a commonsense perspective on the events in our news.
But, that perspective belongs to the people who have “sound and prudent judgment” or, biblically, “the mind of Christ.”
THE SENSE WE HAVE IN COMMON
The Apostle Paul wrote, “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). God knew we would never think like him, so, through his Holy Spirit, he gave us the common sense we have in common.
As Patricia Heaton said, “If you are a common sense person, you probably feel like you don’t have a home in this world right now. If you are a Christian, you know you were never meant to.”
One day, we will be sitting on the wraparound porches of our heavenly mansions, viewing the vast expanse of heaven’s beauty. Common sense tells us to define home as God defines it.
Aren’t you glad we have eternity in common?
Commonsense Christianity is being filled with the “sound and prudent judgment” of God’s Holy Spirit.
Let’s spend the week having a LOT in common with him.