Wednesday, September 08, 2010

On Life: Faith vs Common Sense

"Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to." ~ George Seaton

For a while I've been pondering on faith, and its implications for the way I live my life every day. Sometimes when I'm at a crossroads and I need to make a decision, I often have a dilemma. Should I go with common sense or should I walk by faith? Do I go with my instincts? Should I make a list of pros and cons and use pure common sense to make a decision? Should I weigh all the options and go with the most "logical" conclusion? Should the way forward be the most "reasonable" one?

However, as a Christian who has decided to make God the CEO of my life, I've sometimes had to step back and wait for a different direction. The bible says: "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen". The bible also says "Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding."

There are many examples of God asking His people in the bible to make decisions that totally make no sense. God called Abraham to leave all that he knew, his father's house and go to a strange land. God told Noah to build an ark when there was no sea or river around him. God told Gideon to go to war with only 300 men when they were facing an enemy army of over 100,000 soldiers. Each time, it required true faith to for each of these people to override their common sense and obey God.

Still, it can be really scary when common sense clashes with what you believe God is telling you to do. If God says: quit your job and become a full-time missionary in some remote village, what immediately comes to mind? Questions and doubts of course. Like: how will I survive without a regular income? What about my career? Will I be safe there without my family and friends around me? Etc.

Even the strongest amongst us wrestles with doubt sometimes. It's normal, it's natural, it's part of being human. But from my little experience, I'll say that in the end, common sense has its place but faith triumphs over it. As long as your faith is in God and what He has called you to do, you cannot go wrong.

  • Common sense relies on your own limited abilities. Faith relies on God's unlimited ability.
  • Common sense stops when things get rough. Faith keeps going when common sense is exhausted.
  • Common sense says you should play it safe. Faith challenges us to step beyond our comfort zone
  • Faith says one failure does not mean the end. Common sense says you should give up if it doesn't work the first time.
  • Common sense limits you to only what you know. Faith empowers you to stretch your imagination.

Thanks for reading!



  1. Awesome...Sounds so simple and like a familiar message but I say its AWESOME!!!
    Faith could never be so over emphasised because its the reason for our existence.The summation of who we are is FAITH!We believe and live by faith,our hope and trust in a God we can not see is FAITH.
    My dear,you stirred me up to believe again and live by faith amen,God bless u.

  2. FG, this post brings to mind all the things that I wrestle with...issues of what I feel God has said and balancing that with all the 'reality' that is going on all around me. Yet, common sense, regardless of how "sensible" it is has its own bag of handicap and I want to say thank you for pointing out its limitations.

  3. This post highlights my struggle as a Christian. I opine that faith almost always goes against what we call 'common sense'.

    "As long as your faith is in God and what He has called you to do, you cannot go wrong" - This is my hope and the reason why I strive to have faith in all I do (not easy to do so, I tend to doubt most of the time).

    Au contraire, thank you for such a wonderful post.

    Taciturn Turned Talkative

  4. looks like you had me in mind when u wrote this post...thx for sharing it.

  5. I think 'common sense' is another name for 'wisdom'. I think the ability to merge faith with wisdom is something we grow into over time. One day we will know perfectly, like we are known perfectly. Until then, give yourself permission to make mistakes and commit to getting up and moving on every time you stumble.

  6. Anonymous4:09 pm

    With regards to your post on faith, I'd like to contribute to the topic with a guest post. I email it, and you edit / proofread, (or if okay with you) post it (with no backlink or credit). Or if not okay with you, you don't post it. Okay? Look out for my email.

    To he/she who hath shall be given.

    "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye have received them, and ye shall have them." - Mark 11.24

    "Know him in all your ways and he will direct your path.” - Psalms 3.6

    "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 2.5




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