by Jared Scholz
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10
What in the world does this mean?
I don’t completely grasp it, but here are a few rambling thoughts. I’ve found that fear and awe go hand in hand. I am in awe of elephants, and I am also fearful of their effect on my head or car or children. So there is a trace of this in how I relate to God. But, I fear Him the way I fear my father, not the way I fear a stranger. I think there is a trend that His anger is perfectly harmonized with His justice, mercy, and love. I also find hope in the idea that His anger can be satisfied.
So, with my kids, my son scratches his sister’s neck cuz she changed the channel. It’s the 17th time…today. I love him, I don’t want him to grow up abusing others out of anger. I love him, I don’t want him to be a selfish brat. I love her, I don’t want her thinking that it’s ok to be treated this way. I love her, I don’t want her to be scared of her brother. This is an injustice in the house. So, I quickly have a little meeting with my son. “Son, I am angry. Son, what you’ve done is unfair and wrong. Son, I love you. Son, I love your sister. I’m sorry, but the time has come for me to administer some penalty. No dessert for 2 days. No screens for 2 days. Hopefully this will cause you enough pain to stop and change your behavior. I will not tolerate it in my house. Why does daddy discipline you? (To chase away rebellion) If I didn’t discipline you, what would that mean? (that you hate me) Yeah, and I don’t hate you, I love you. Hugs/ reconciliation with his sister, etc…
It would be awesome if four days later, my son used his words instead of his hands, to express his displeasure. Perhaps in the early days of this change, he does it simply because he fears me. He fears my “power”. He fears that anger, that controlled, calculated, fair, loving anger. This is the beginning of wisdom for my son. My hope is that as he matures, he does the right thing simply because he wants to bless and honor everyone around, he wants to love his neighbor, he wants to be good for daddy’s good world. But fear of daddy is the beginning of wisdom.
If I start everyday fearing God more than I fear people, I will walk in wisdom. If God has the last say in my life, He will deal with the pride and selfishness that might go unnoticed by people.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.