Recently I posted an easily understood Bible verse, which simply tells mankind what the Lord requires of mankind. “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8 (ESV).
This comment was made regarding the post: “Sounds so simple! Why do we make it seem so difficult?” I took that comment to mean, this one is a “no brainer”, just apply “commonsense”.
That incident started my thinking juices into motion. When that happens, I usually begin doing research for writing a blog.
After a small amount of research, I had discovered several definitions of “commonsense”. None made more sense than Merriane-Webster: “Sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts: She’s very smart but doesn’t have a lot of common sense; rely on common sense for personal safety …a definition plus two good examples of word usage.
In my title I offered solid solutions for your problems. The following two step solution is as solid as it gets:
1: Read the book of Proverbs found in the Bible by reading just one Proverb each day for thirty-one days. Repeat this formula twelve times on one year.
2 : If you want solutions to problems, obey, and apply to your life, daily, what you have read.
Too many times we are so guilty of making problem solving so complicated until we simply apply the, “commonsense” factor. Throughout the book of Proverbs we are encouraged to apply sound judgement, discretion, or prudence. Each of these words are a part of my commonsense factor.
For example, one of the most misunderstood topics in the Bible can be easily understood. We seem to make it a lot more difficult to understand than it really is. You would think the topic of, “apology”, is a “no brainer” but, after very little reading, I find that we make it so difficult.
Most people think that, “I apologize”, or, “I’m sorry”, doesn’t include repentance. So then, just what is an apology?
Have you ever noticed that what one person considers an apology is not what another person considers an apology? A husband can say to his wife, “I’m sorry”, and she can say, “that is not an apology”. Truth is, it is different things to different people.
Gary Chapman, in his book, “Love Language Minute, the One Year Devotional”, shares how we can greatly improve our understanding of an apology. He suggests five languages of apology:
- Expressing Regret. Examples are, “I’m sorry”, or “I feel bad about what I did.”
- Accepting Responsibility. “I was wrong”, or, “it was my fault.”
- Making Restitution. “What can I do to make it right?”
- Genuinely Repenting. “I don’t want to continue hurting you. I know that is wrong, and I don’t want it to happen again.”
- Requesting Forgiveness. “Will you please forgive me?”, or “I value our relationship, and I trust you will forgive me.”
The person to whom you are making an apology likely has a primary apology language. One of these is more important to that person than the other four. To give a successful apology, you will have to learn to speak the apology language to that person.” – copyright 2009 by Gary Chapman.
The Psalmist David was actually apologizing to God when he wrote Psalm 41. “O Lord,” I prayed, “Have mercy on me. Heal me, for I have sinned against you.” Psalm 41:4
“You were cleansed from your sins, when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with your whole heart.” 1 Peter 1:22
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.” Ephesians 4:31
It just makes commonsense that, if you have hurt or wronged someone in some way, you cannot have a clean heart before God until you choose a way to apologize directly to that person in whatever way he or she knows your apology is sincere.
Some may be expecting to hear all five of the suggested languages of apology before there can be complete reconciliation.
Certain decisions are right simply because they make good sense.
For example, if you are attempting to correct someone for something you believe was wrong, and you choose to, “dress that person down”, in a public forum, you made the wrong choice. That should be done privately. Listen to commonsense as well as your conscience. The right decision is to go to that person, and apologize in a way that will bring complete reconciliation.
If you’re trying to decide if you should go on a picnic, it would make sense to get a weather forecast, and to stay home, if rain is due. If you need to get up early for work tomorrow, it would make good sense to go to bed at a reasonable hour tonight, not stay up to watch a late show on television …and, by the way, it wouldn’t hurt to set the alarm.
How many times did you need to “just figure it out” as a youngster. When you asked Mom or Dad, “why?”, and they replied, “because I said so”, you really had no other choice but to apply commonsense, and figure it out …obey your parents.
We are taught by many passages of scripture in the Bible to use sound judgement, when making decisions that are not plainly stated or commanded.
Proverbs 28:26 “Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.”
1 Corinthians 15:33 – Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
Proverbs 3:21 ”My son do not lose sight of these – keep sound wisdom and discretion.”
As I pointed out earlier many Scriptures use “prudence”, “discretion”, or “sound judgement”, instead of “commonsense”, but all conveying the same meaning …“commonsense”.
This has certainly not been an attempt to give you an exhaustive commentary on the subject, but years of experience have given me the wisdom to know I have written enough, so I will apply some commonsense by closing with this simple invitation …please re-read this short blog and apply the principles to your life.
If you know what’s right, just do it. That is my interpretation of Micah 6:8. In this modern age sometimes I feel it’s as though God is saying to us, “Duh”, just do right!”.