With a name like “common sense,” one would think that everybody has it. That does not seem to be the case though. Someone with common sense would surely think they need to tie down trash bags in the back of their truck filled with junk if they are going to exceed 50 mile per hour so some do not fly out the back. I would not say this person did not have common sense, but they were certainly lacking in sense by choosing to neglect the necessary and seemingly obvious solution to a sure problem. This also might be the result of laziness, which is another symptom of one lacking in sense. The wise man wrote this, ”A man is commended according to his good sense, but one of twisted mind is despised” (Proverbs 12:8).
Someone with good sense also has self-awareness and is humble. It is senseless to act like someone you are not. Texans might describe this kind of person as having a big hat with no cattle. Sure, driving that expensive car, living in that mansion, and eating at luxury restaurants every night might look fun, but if you are just putting on a show to impress people you do not know and trick people you do not even like, then that is lacking in sense. Solomon, who was the wealthiest man known, went on to write, “Better to be lowly and have a servant than to play the great man and lack bread” (12:9). It is sickening the amount of debt people will rack up just to have luxuries in life when they do not have the money to justify such expenses.
In this set of proverbs, Solomon connects good sense with righteousness. He wrote, “Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel” (12:10). It is interesting in a time where animal rights as we know them today were seemingly non-existent, Solomon compares one’s character with how he treats not just humans, but animals. He finalizes this proverb with the adverse of its beginning, “Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense” (12:11). If you have good sense, get out and use it. If you don’t, you will be considered lacking in it.