What Happened To Sense?
by Lary R. Hale
The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were wicked. At least the majority of them were, because it was mainly them that were responsible for the Romans putting Jesus to death. But I’m going to have to give them credit for at least one thing that they proved wiser in than most of the religiously disbelieving crowd that’s around today. It doesn’t change the fact that they were wicked, just that they had something in the sense arena that the religiously foolish people of today lack. They knew that when sound wisdom had been expounded to them that debunked their deceitful tactics and doctrines, it was time to shut their mouths. Here is a good example of what I’m talking about: “And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed” (Lk. 13:10-17). When it says they were ashamed, it means that they let it go because they knew Jesus was right. Of course they came back later and dealt treacherously again, but at least they had the sense to shut their mouth when they were proven wrong by the right spirit and the right knowledge. People today are not able to do that, including a whole lot of folks who probably aren’t as particularly wicked as the Pharisees [or are they?]. People today just don’t seem to be able to use good sense coupled with honesty. The Pharisees, like I said, were certainly wicked; but at least they were honest enough with themselves to shut up when their efforts had been bested by the very best of sense. Here is another good example of what I’m talking about: “And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him… So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her… And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst” (Jn. 8:3-5,7,9). Folks today may not go as far as to throw the first stone, but they sure would stand there and continue to present an obviously defeated argument, just for the sake of not admitting to being wrong.
Friend, I”ve seen what I’m talking about up close and personal more times than I care to remember. I’ve seen people in that situation literally change the very way that the Bible actually reads, just to get out of shutting their mouth and admitting to themselves that they’re wrong. I’ve seen people say that they are being persecuted simply because good spiritual sense that is contrary to their thinking has been expounded to them with godly sincerity and love, and backed up with consistent evidence of the scriptures. I’ve seen people just coyly say things like, “Well, it’s just a revelation,” when they have no response to right answers of truth and soberness. ANY true revelation is going to be backed up by a multitude of scriptures, not by excuses for not being able to explain them. I’ve given people hours in my presence to find in their Bible a simple fact that they were trying to get me to believe in order to prove their doctrine; and when they came up empty, they still would not acknowledge that they were in error. It brings to mind a very telling verse from the book of Ecclesiastes: “Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool” (Eccl. 10:3). The problem is pride. Everyone today has trained themselves to think that knowing things is what it’s all about, and therefore nobody can afford to be wrong about anything. And never mind the lengths that people will go to in order to not appear to be wrong about anything. And so the saying is fulfilled that says, “Knowledge puffeth up, but [love] edifieth” (I Cor. 8:1). I will tell you a very simplistic rule to follow if you want to ALWAYS be right about what you have to say: Just don’t speak of things that you do NOT have absolute knowledge of. Then the scriptures begin to make a whole lot of sense that say things like this: “Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few” (Eccl. 5:2). And this: “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards” (Prov. 29:11). This is a very good one also: “He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit” (Prov. 17:27). Someone who is seeking only to edify those around them with love, is going to guage, feel, and wait on the right moment to say the right thing, that may help someone else to increase in love and faith. It’s just that simple. This is what the apostle Paul was speaking of in the following verse: “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Col. 4:6). Someone with true godly wisdom has absolutely no motivation whatsoever to show anyone that they have knowledge. That motivation is not wisdom, but rather it is pride, and it is UNEDIFYING to all who are around it. Furthermore, someone with real wisdom will not only be willing to admit if they are wrong, but they will actually enjoy doing so. James spoke of this wisdom like this: “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife [wanting to be the right one] in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace” (Jas. 3:13-18). As for everyone who finds it more bitter than death to admit to being wrong, they should earnestly heed the following proverb: “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding” (Prov. 17:28). I believe that about says it. Amen.
Original Post at By One Spirit Ministries Facebook page May 18, 2013