Last week, I heard a man say, “That fella is smart, but he hasn’t got any walkin’ around sense!”
Walkin’ around sense? Some call it horse sense. One brother calls it, mule sense, a.k.a., “common sense.”
This is what Twain referred to when he warned not to let education get in the way of learning. A man can be so “smart,” he’s dumb. An old proverb, it seems: “Your great learning is driving you out of your mind!” (Festus, to Paul, Acts 24:24). Of course, Festus was wrong about Paul. Yet, it shows that men have long made this observation.
I’ve read much from the late Thomas Warren and Roy Deaver. Both were book smart. I’ve also listened to them preach (recorded) and use illustrations from their days growing up on the farm.
I’ve heard Memphis School of Preaching graduates (including my dad) say that Roy J. Hearn used to instruct students to “bring it down where the calves can get it, and the cows won’t have any problem.” These men had great minds. And, they had mule sense –- walkin’ around sense.
Jesus had mule sense. He drew illustrations from life on the farm, as it were, and “the common people heard him gladly” (Mark 12:37).
Consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.
But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God (1 Corinthians 1:26-29, ESV).
The gospel is profound and profoundly simple. Sin? Savior! Don’t have to be a genius to figure it out.
Rick is a graduate of West Virginia School of Preaching.
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