Now That’s Refreshment!

September 9th, 2008

Focus Text: Proverbs 3: 21-22 (NLT)

 21 My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment.
      Hang on to them,
 22 for they will refresh your soul.
      They are like jewels on a necklace.

 

Stop Here and Reflect Before Reading Ahead

Refreshment is a curious thing.  I’m always amused when I see commercials on television that promote certain products that claim to be “refreshing.”  I know you’ve seen them before.  Musclebound athletes drenched in sweat reaching for an icy, seemingly irresistible Coca-Cola.  With the silhouette of a sunset or a desert landscape behind them, they turn up the frigid bottle and guzzle down the dark cola as if each drop is satisfying the deepest thirst of their souls.  I don’t know about you, but if I were to drink a Coke that fast while I was that hot, I’d be hiccuping for a week!

As a runner, I’m no stranger to thirst.  Especially on hot Tennessee days when the humidity reaches 200%, my return from a long run is accompanied by a thirst that seems to have no limit.  But what I reach for is the key component to whether or not my thirst is quenched.  Have you ever reached for something to drink and brought it to your lips only to discover that what you thought you were sipping is something else altogether?  Perhaps you thought you were drinking Dr. Pepper, when in actuality you just ingested tea.   For a split second, you almost spew the tea all over the kitchen counter!  Tea is not normally disgusting to you, it’s just shocking when it’s not what you are expecting.

Truth be told, there are certain drinks that will not be refreshing when one is overheated.  Chugging a large Mountain Dew after a five-mile run will generally not make one feel better.  Or imagine popping back one of those kids’ yogurt-liquid hybrid drinks (like GoGurt) when your mouth is so parched that it feels like you’ve been licking a chalkboard.  Yeah, that’s a recipe for digestive disaster.  

Real thirst brings one back to the basics.  When the perspiration has covered me from head to toe and I begin to get the “goosebumps” that signal that I need liquid stat, I would prefer a nice glass of ice water over anything else.  Though not the flashiest choice, good old-fashioned water is always a sure-fire remedy for a dry mouth or an overheated body.

This verse is all about the basics.  I theorize that many of us reach for the wrong “beverage” when we encounter spiritual parchment.  There isn’t sufficient room here to relay the stories of how many times in my own life I’ve drank from the flashy or the popular solution to life’s problems instead of taking hold of what I know to be true.  Christians and non-Christians alike seem to be drawn to the fads instead of to foundational truth.  Don’t tell me the stuff that I’ve always been told . . . give me something exciting and different!  Surely that will make this thirst go away!

But just because you’ve been told something your entire life doesn’t mean that it’s not true.  Take gravity, for instance.  Just because you get excited about the prospect of defying gravity and flying doesn’t mean that you can leap from your roof and be okay.  In this case, the basics still matter.

What are the basics?  This passage defines these “go to” refreshers as “common sense” and “discernment.” Common sense . . . now there’s something that seems too often to be missing from our culture.  When a home intruder can win a lawsuit settlement because they were injured in the house that they broke into to rob, something is terribly wrong.  Just watching the local “injury lawyer” commercials on television reveals that our society is too often more focused on legal jargon and loopholes than justice.  In other words, common sense just doesn’t hold the same “water” anymore.

However, let’s not just wax eloquently about society as a whole without taking a look inward as well. Common sense really is an issue of one’s personal choice.  Hey, I can’t change the crooked lawyers on television, but I can sure change me!  Common sense is more than just knowledge, or else this discussion is useless because so many people lack knowledge- and even those who have an abundance of knowledge still have so much more to learn.  No, from a spiritual perspective, common sense is the practical implementation of God-given wisdom.  It’s the understanding of how to apply God’s principles to humanity’s circumstances. 

Common sense is like water to our culture’s thirst.  Even in the current Presidential race for the White House, there seem to be reoccurring themes centered around the “common, middle-class people” and a return to those things that just make sense.  Wisdom that can make sense in everyday situations is the unwatered thirst of people all over the world.  We need more than just rhetoric or high philosophy that has no use in “real” life.  We need God’s wisdom to help us through school . . . work . . . marriage . . . stress. Life.

If common sense is the water, discernment is the ice that makes it so appealing.  Discernment is another God-component of wisdom that allows one to not only comprehend what is right and wise in everyday circumstances, but also helps one make a determination of how to balance the people part of real life.  One who exercises discernment won’t just make quick judgments because they are right or even the common sense thing to do.  No, they will understand that people are the variables that change every situation and understanding their specific, personal situations is a key to making sound decisions. 

One who walks in common sense and discernment will be a refreshment to each person in his or her path. Hey, it may not be the most popular thing around to be a person of Godly common sense, but trust me . . . it does the trick.  So the next time you’re really thirsty . . . spiritually, of course, don’t go for the “Mountain Dew” of flashy, impractical worldly advice.  Try the good stuff . . . Godly common sense and discernment.

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~ by johndriver on September 9, 2008.

4 Responses to “Now That’s Refreshment!”

  1. Hmm I haven’t really thought about it like that. Ha ok , so on sunday I rode around my block and went up some huge hills and down them back up mine to come home. Of course I was thirsty and really tired! Me being stupid didn’t get a drink. I thought I could cool down myself do it on my own. It turns out when I did it my way I didn’t feel refreshed or cooled down. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that, I can’t exspect to do everything my way and get a “drink” when I just need one. Spirtually of course. I have to get one whether I want to or not. God wants me to always be refreshed. I can’t just wait around waiting to be cooled down. Well I could its just not smart. God is giving me that “ice water” to refresh me. But its my job to actually go and drink it.

    Thanks PJ for writing these

    :] Em Nations

    ps. I posted this 2 times cause I didn’t see it go through

  2. okayy so this most definatly makes sense.
    i mean when im faced with decisions,
    bigish, or smallish i usually ask other ppl what they would do.
    && somtimes the ppl i ask arent even wise ones,
    just my friends…who no offense, dont always make the best
    decisions either && follow whats “inish”.
    yet turning to GOD, who actually can make a diference,
    is in reality a lot smarter. because he is in fact jahova jira-GOD OUR PROVIDER
    in the bible it says in psalms ummm 119…googling…119:105 says” thy word is a lamp unto my feet && a light unto my path.” this is true we should intertwine GODS word into
    our own life and trust him 1 octillion percent, but at times we get to a point where we just dont care for
    the saying OMGG WWJD??? yet seeking god for help is actually what we should consider “in”….but with society now a days with all of our temptation && idols
    we forget about water && get “jacked up on mountain dew”
    so remember drink MELLOW YELLLO 😀 ha jk
    the spirtual water is better :)))

  3. The French writer Voltaire said “Common sense is not so common” I sure seems that this is true. It’s interesting to note that he said that in the 18th century! So the lack of common sense is nothing new. So this begs the question; if common sense is uncommon and we walk in God and practice common sense. Does that make us Uncommonly Good?

  4. This makes a lot of sense to me! Water is something that we cannot live without. It is also a constant source to each and every one of us. This obviously applies to God as well. He is our constant source and is always willing to share his “wisdom water.” (a spiritual alliteration!) I want to take from God all that he has to give me, so I can serve him by using what has been given to me to glorify him. He delights in us when we can evaluate a choice by using our common sense. This reminds me of one of the recent daily threads about praying and asking God for help during a situation. We are supposed to come to the water when we thirst. God is that thirst quencher, and will provide us with that extra bit of energy that only he can give. Common sense and discernment are two important factors in life. We should take every opportunity and make the most of it.

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