“A deep respect and awe for God is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10, GCS).
In every discipline there is a kind of “first principle,” something we have to get right at the very beginning or everything else will go wrong. In golf, for example, if you don’t hold the clubs the right way, no matter how hard you try you will not ever get your swing absolutely right. In the case of wisdom, our attitude towards God comes first. If we don’t get that right, we will never be wise.
In most translations, Proverbs 1:6 and 9:10 begin, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom….” The Hebrew word translated fear has multiple connotations, and “fear” is its most natural translation. Unfortunately, most people in our society do not think of “fear” as a positive emotion. We especially don’t think fear should motivate our obedience to God.
In my translation I have used the term “deep respect and awe” to describe the attitude towards God that ends in wisdom. God is infinitely more powerful that we are. God is infinitely wiser than we are. God is infinitely more loving, kind, and caring than we are. Such wisdom should cause us to respect God, obey God, love God, and put God first in our thoughts and actions. It is at this point that we are ready to receive the wisdom of God.
This Blog is designed to explore wisdom and leadership–how it is we move from one state of being in the world to a better state. The posts will deal with some aspect of wise living and wise leading. I normally do not comment on current events unless they lead to a clearer understanding of the necessity for wisdom in life, in community, and in leadership.
Copyright 2014, G. Christopher Scruggs, All Rights Reserved