Lesson 5 – Divine Sense
Titus 2:3-5 (VOICE)
And here’s what I want you to teach the older women:
Steer clear of gossip or drinking too much
so that you can teach what is good to young women.
Be a positive example, showing them
what it is to love their husbands and children,
and teaching them to control themselves in every way
and to be pure.
Train them to manage the household,
to be kind,
and to be submissive to their husbands,
all of which honor the word of God.
We talk about common sense, the ability to perceive what is going on and make an appropriate judgment. Can you teach someone common sense?
- Common sense grows out of personal experience
- It’s one of the most important things parents teach their kids
- It requires, at minimum, the good sense to accept advice
Common sense helps us safely navigate our way through life, making choices that are good for us and good for others.
Let’s move from common sense to the topic for this lesson: divine sense.
“Be a positive example.” We don’t have a good substitute for the Greek word Paul used in his letter to Titus: sóphronizó. It is living in divine moderation—according to God’s true balance, in line with God’s big picture. For lack of a better term, let’s call it divine sense.
By letting God moderate our lives (balance, keep within reasonable limits, preside over), we teach other women to let God moderate their lives. We demonstrate divine sense.
What areas of our lives need the divine sense of moderation and balance? Here are some possibilities:
- Work / recreation
- Perfection / adequacy
- Spending / saving
- Looking within / looking out
- Present / eternity
Are any of these issues for you?
The Bible is our window on divine sense. Here are a few samples of Scriptural balance on some challenging issues:
You and your family are to remember the Sabbath Day; set it apart, and keep it holy. You have six days to do all your work, but the seventh day is to be different; it is the Sabbath of the Eternal your God. Keep it holy by not doing any work.
So no matter what your task is, work hard. Always do your best as the Lord’s servant, not as man’s, because you know your reward is the Lord’s inheritance.
Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have because He has said, “I will never leave you; I will always be by your side.”
Pay tribute to the Eternal in all of your affairs.
Honor Him with the best of what you make.
God chose us to be in a relationship with Him even before He laid out plans for this world; He wanted us to live holy lives characterized by love, free from sin, and blameless before Him. He destined us to be adopted as His children through the covenant Jesus the Anointed inaugurated in His sacrificial life. This was His pleasure and His will for us.
Because of the grace allotted to me, I can respectfully tell you not to think of yourselves as being more important than you are; devote your minds to sound judgment since God has assigned to each of us a measure of faith. For in the same way that one body has so many different parts, each with different functions; we, too—the many—are different parts that form one body in the Anointed One.
Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children,
but those who are quick to correct them show true love.
Don’t infuriate your children, so their hearts won’t harbor resentment and become discouraged.
These passages show how we find balance in Scripture—balance among many good things, and balance between spiritual and worldly desires. The Bible exposes us to a kaleidoscope of views on the elements of daily life. It exposes us to divine sense.
I can be so absorbed in reading that I neglect routine responsibilities. I can focus so much on ministry that I don’t see that other tasks are piling up like dirty laundry. I can be so deep into tasks that I neglect relationships. It is easy to overdo, over emphasize, over work one issue or activity at the expense of balance. When God’s divine sense is lacking in my own life, I’ll find it hard to direct other women toward a spiritually healthy balance.
“We all profess that we are bound for heaven, immortality, and glory: but is it any evidence that we really design it if all our thoughts are consumed about the trifles of this world, which we must leave behind us, and have only occasional thoughts of things above?”
Puritan theologian John Owen (1616-1683
Divine sense is found at the intersection of Bible study, prayer and daily living. I read a passage and talk with God about how it applies to my situation. It is amazing how often the take-away from my morning devotions is exactly the message I need later in the day.
Here are a few examples from my journal:
From one morning’s devotion: be slow to take offense; don’t assume it is all about you. The next day, I was able to help someone else see that he was taking offense where none was intended. Shortly thereafter, I was on the receiving end of a misunderstanding. God said, I prepared you just yesterday for this.
Another morning I recorded this definition of self-discipline: “The ability to regulate one’s conduct by principle and sound judgment, rather than by impulse, desire or social custom.” Later in the day I exercised sound judgment and avoided being caught up in someone else’s drama. I sensed God’s “Well done!” Shortly thereafter, impulse and desire ruled as I ate chips just because they were there, not because I was hungry. Within the same hour I both exercised and ignored divine sense.
On a Friday morning, my message for the day was “prayer is NOT doing nothing. It is doing the most important thing.” Friday evening I shared some insights from my prayer life with a younger woman. Maybe that conversation was destined to happen, but my morning conversation with God put prayer front and center in my day. It was easier to talk about it because it had been on my mind.
Think of your own Bible study and prayer. How often does God provide divine sense just in time to meet your specific need? Don’t be shy about sharing these moments with others. It is one way to be a positive example to other women.
Journaling lets you trace divine sense at work in you over time. But even if you don’t record your insights and experience for future reference, you can be alert to the growth of your divine sense.
How’s your life? Balanced or unbalanced? Do you feel torn in a dozen directions? Are you at peace with your lifestyle? If not, what do you have in excess and what do you lack?
Many people think a balanced life looks like this:
The sacred and secular separate but equal—that is, in balance.
Others see more like this:
The sacred half of life is devoted to God. Everything else is secular.
Consider Jesus Christ. Neither diagram seems to fit his earthly life. Eating lunch, teaching in the Temple, talking with his friends, healing the sick—for him it was all sacred. Jesus shows us how it’s done.
Brother Lawrence called it “practicing the presence of God.” No job, no task is too humble to be sacred. Life isn’t divided into secular and sacred. God is in it all, and it is all God’s. This is the essence of divine sense.
Too bad divine sense isn’t more common.
Divine sense? What’s your experience?