It’s easy to skip over these chapters, as they seem to state the obvious – wisdom is good, folly is bad; hard work is better than laziness, and so on.
But for one thing, it does no harm to be reminded of the seemingly obvious now and then. Faith is not all complex theology, and wisdom is often found in the very practical and down to earth of going with the grain of life. Truth doesn’t need to be inspiring or complex to be truth, or to be from God. And without the basic, down to earth hard work of life, theology can become escapism. So I’m trying to give these words due weight and take them to heart.
On top of that, there’s not just common sense here. Chapter 11 reminds us of God’s anger at injustice and dishonesty, but goes beyond that and beyond what might seem like common sense – caution in business is commended but paired with a call to generosity, and a promise that generosity will help build prosperity. This may be the teaching we’re used to as Christians, but it’s easy to forget that it goes against the received ‘wisdom’ of much of our world.
So perhaps common sense isn’t as common as we might think…