Wisdom Wednesday: Use Some Common Sense

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Have you ever heard the phrases, “God helps those who help themselves” or “Let go and let God”? Did you know neither is in the Bible? Well, the principles are there, sort of, but there is a balance. God blesses the diligent, but He also helps us when we cannot help ourselves. Those who tend to be passive, might use the phrase, “Let go and let God” as an excuse to sit back and just pray about it, while those who like to be in control may need to learn to ‘let go and let God’. God expects us to use the wisdom and common sense He has given to do what we can do, and look to Him to do what only He can do.

“I hope none of you who have a garden are praying, ‘God, my garden is getting full of weeds and choking the plants. What do You think I need to do about it?’ You need to pull the weeds! You don’t need to pray about it! Just go pull the weeds!” —Steve Cobb

“Don’t stand by the water and long for fish; go home and weave a net.” —Chinese proverb

“Pray for a good harvest, but keep on hoeing.” —Slavic proverb

“Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” —Proverbs 10:4 NASV


If you liked this, you might also like… “Just Do Something” and “Don’t Panic”

About Rene Yoshi

Just a transplanted Okinawan-French Southern girl with a wee bit o' Irish, sharing photography and what I'm learning about spiritual things, including putting off legalism and religious traditions, and embracing God's matchless love, tender mercy, and amazing grace! View all posts by Rene Yoshi

18 responses to “Wisdom Wednesday: Use Some Common Sense

  • Tienny The Storyteller

    Rene, thanks for the comfort 🙂


  • Randell Bell

    Yes I agree there must be a balance. The problem with both sayings is the lack of knowledge about the God they trust, and the ability to hear His Word. To hear God’s voice you must recognize His voice and to recognize His voice you must know His Word. People who only read or study God’s Word on Sundays will never be able to tell the difference between waiting on God and passivity. Likewise the person who goes boldly ahead and simply stamps God’s approval on everything they do trusting wisdom and knowledge to guide them usually finds out the raw truth of 1Cor.1: 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
    I may be taking this a little out of context, but I agree with you there must be a balance, something that is sorely lacking in most churches and believers these days. Thanks Rene

    • Rene Yoshi

      Funny you should mention the part about knowing and recognizing. I was listening to the radio this morning and heard the analogy of how agents are trained to spot counterfeit money. I was glad the preacher/Bible-teacher didn’t say agents study only the real thing as I have heard some preachers say when they try to convince us to read and study only the Bible for the ability to spot false religion. Yes, it is true that knowing the genuine makes spotting the false a lot easier, but knowing what to look for is essential too. The Secret Service page gives instruction to compare a suspect note with a genuine note of the same denomination and encourages taking special note of differences and not only similarities. Likewise, so many people have been taken in by counterfeit Christianity by noticing only the similarities and not the differences. We have also at times passed off quotes like the two mentioned in the blog post as Scripture. They sound like they could be, but the only way we can know they are not is by studying and comparing, especially important since so many translations and paraphrases exist. My second son was actually raging at the thought that some people use books that paraphrase the Bible as their primary Bible when it is not. He read Romans 3:21-24 from both an English translation and an English paraphrase. The translations was so much more succinct and understandable that we wondered why churches and Christian radio stations would primarily quote from the paraphrase. Grrrr…. But I digress. Thank you, Randell! 🙂

  • utesmile

    I love this post, it is so helpful. We cannot just sit back and pray for everything, we need to do our bit too! Thanks Rene

  • prior

    Rene – I really like the way you touched upon a very complex and almost paradoxical topic – and well done. it takes balance….

    “God blesses the diligent, but He also helps us when we cannot help ourselves.”
    and great garden analogy
    potent little post here. 🙂

  • Scott

    “Jesus Christ will not perform a miracle in your life for something you can do yourself”. Dr. John C. Whitcomb

    Example: Lazarus

    Lazarus had 3 problems. He was wrapped up in cloths like a mummy; he was in a tomb sealed by a massive stone; he was dead.
    The Lord Jesus only handled one of those problems. He raised Lazarus back to life. He told the others to move the stone and he instructed others to unwrap Lazarus.

    Example: Feeding the 5000

    The Lord Jesus multiplied the food in His Hands. It was up to the disciples to both distribute the food and collect the leftovers.

    I was also intrigued by your analogy of the Secret Service identifying counterfeit money. There’s an interesting analogy (bear with me, the meaning is cool):

    During a class in Histology (study of tissues) a student asked the professor why in the world they had to look at slide after slide after slide of normal healthy tissue. “Why can’t we be looking at diseased tissue!” he protested. The professor smiled and noted, “Once you know beyond doubt what healthy tissue looks like, you’ll be able to identify diseased tissue in a heartbeat”.

    You see, once we know what beyond doubt the truths of our Faith, the instant any semblance of false teaching arises, we’ll recognize it.

    • Rene Yoshi

      Thank you for those excellent examples! Concerning the Histology class, I do see the wisdom in first studying what is true and good first in order to recognize when something isn’t quite right, but I’m sure diseased tissue was later introduced in order to identify it specifically, right?

  • Shelly

    There is something to be said about balance. There are so many sayings that are attributed to the Bible but are not found there. Often there may be a nugget from Scripture but it is twisted a bit. It is one of the reasons why we need to read the Word of god for ourselves so we can recognize the truth. Be blessed.

  • God’s Plan for Your Life May Not Be What You Think It Is | Sweet Rains

    […] If you liked this, you might also like… “Just Do Something” and Wisdom Wednesday: Use Some Common Sense […]

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