Pride makes us stupid and keeps us that way

A bill I paid online went through yesterday. That was good. But I realized I’d paid the wrong company. That was bad. Yes, I’d issued a credit card payment to my cellular phone provider. And it was no small amount either.

What was my first thought? Quite honestly, my first thought was that I was an idiot. I should have been paying closer attention. And, no, it wasn’t the end of the world, but it was going to take some clever cash maneuvering to get things to even out.

But my second thought was to contact my cell phone company to see if they would issue a refund. After all, it’s not like I’m behind or my payments. Or that I’ve ever missed a payment. But would they do that? Could they do that? Was their system even set up that way?

I almost didn’t call. I almost let it go, willing to figure out how to make it work on my own. But I decided to go ahead and try. And guess what? It wasn’t a problem. I talked to a nice lady who had all the answers I needed, and she informed me that I’d be receiving a full refund in about 10 days.

Thinking back on it now, it was silly to assume they couldn’t do a refund. We did refunds at the libraries I’ve worked at, and I’m sure this wasn’t the first time some dimwitted customer issued a payment to the wrong company. Recognizing that they would probably issue a refund was common sense. Most people do.

funny_signToday’s verses are Proverbs 3:21-24.

My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment.
Hang on to them,
for they will refresh your soul.
They are like jewels on a necklace.
They keep you safe on your way,
and your feet will not stumble.
You can go to bed without fear;
you will lie down and sleep soundly.

Our world doesn’t place much value on common sense anymore. Have you noticed that? Everyone is too busy running around and getting in trouble to even think about what common sense looks like. But the Bible considers it valuable–so it must be.

I’m not sure if you can cultivate common sense of if it’s just something you’re born with. Either way, if you have it, don’t let go of it. Common sense is a gift that will help keep life simple.

If you want to have common sense, though, the best thing I can say is not to ever assume anything. Just because you think you know what will happen, don’t stop asking questions. Don’t give up because you think life is going to go one way or another. You don’t know.

I would have had to go through some really complicated money shifting between bank accounts if I hadn’t made the call to my cell phone company. But I was willing to do it because I assumed they wouldn’t issue a refund. But I swallowed my pride at asking what could be construed as a dumb question, and I asked anyway.

I think that’s the key. We don’t want to sound dumb. We want to sound like we’re in control. We never want to ask questions that we don’t already know the answers to. At least, that’s the way it works with me. I’m getting better. Working as a journalist in an industry I didn’t understand helped me with grasping the fact that I still have a lot to learn.

It’s our pride that makes us stupid to begin with, and it’s our pride that keeps us stupid. So let go of pride. Who cares if you ask a dumb question? If someone gives you crap for asking a question you genuinely didn’t know the answer to, their opinions don’t matter anyway.

If you don’t know, ask. It’s common sense. Don’t lose sight of it, and your life will be much simpler.