A person who gains sense loves himself.
One who guards understanding finds something good.
A person with good sense is patient,
and it is to his credit that he overlooks an offense.
Home and wealth are inherited from fathers,
but a sensible wife comes from the Lord. (Proverbs 19:8, 11, 14 GW)
(Context—Proverbs 19:1-14 GW)
Do we even know what good sense is? It used to be typical for parents to tell children to use good sense. Perhaps the expression is out of touch with our relativistic culture.
Even the expression common sense seems outdated and irrelevant today. But the need for good sense or common sense is greater than ever.
First of all, let’s consider what the phrase good sense means in these verses. In general, it speaks of sound judgment, discernment, or wisdom.
Within the context of Proverbs, the basis of good sense and wisdom is God—the One true and living God of Israel.
His revealed wisdom is found within the Scriptures. During Solomon’s life it included the first five books of the Old Testament, the history of Israel and many of the Psalms up to the time of his father King David.
These three verses give us insight into the benefits of good sense—why it’s valuable—personally, in all our relationships, and at home.
When we gain good sense and wisdom, we love ourself in the best way. Not in the popular self-indulgent or selfish way. The sense of verse 8 from the original language is to love one’s own soul. Another way of saying it is—the person who gains wisdom is his own best friend.
Relationships with others
An important benefit of wisdom and good sense is to help a person cope with difficult people and situations. The idea of patience here is to be slow to anger and to overlook an offense means to be not easily offended.
An old expression goes, “to take offense is to give it.” Wisdom and good sense enable us not to be hypersensitive and reactive when others say or do things that are offensive or irritate us. This is a valuable benefit in our times!
Lasting wealth and security depends more on who rather than what. This verse is the positive contrast to the verse that precedes it (verse 13). A sensible wife is a gift from God. I know this firsthand! Don’t have a spouse? No problem! This could be a applied to wise parents and children, as well (see download below).
Here’s how I see these verses applied in my life—
The Lord gave me the gift of a sensible and wise wife. She helps me see others in a better light than I tend to do at first. I’ve personally gained from her wisdom and good sense.
Being thankful for her and loving her is like loving my own soul. After all, as it says in the Bible, we are “one flesh” (Gen 2:24), and when I love her as myself (Eph 5:28), I’m not so easily offended when she points out my lesser qualities, if you get what I mean.
How would you apply the insight from these verses in your life? When you gain good sense and wisdom, it’s much easier to live with ourselves, others, and those in our family.
Start each day being thankful and ask the Lord for good sense and wisdom. God promises to give us wisdom when we ask Him for it (James 1:5). Ask the Lord for wisdom and guidance on how to benefit from it in all your relationships.
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