True wisdom is inseparable from the fear of the Lord. Many people think of wisdom as something intellectual, like cleverness. But wisdom is not cleverness—because cleverness can be compatible with evil. The fear of the Lord is incompatible with evil.
– Derek Prince
Over the years the fear of the Lord has been misunderstood. Many Christian leaders have tried to water it down, making it out to be less scary so that we don’t see God as a scary God but as a loving and kind God. Yes, there is no scriptural basis for this. God is love . The Bible clearly states this. Not that God has love or God gives love, but God is love. So, our foundation for the fear of the Lord is one of love. But, what is love? Is love a warm, fuzzy, squishy emotion? No, love is many things but it is not the human definition of love. God’s definition of love involves, patience, kindness , etc as well as discipline , punishment and wrath. He is a good father and like any good father, He will discipline us when we need it and ultimately He will judge us on judgement day. Thankfully God sent Jesus to take our punishment for us so we will not receive what we deserve on judgement day; however, God is still to be feared because He is great and mighty in so many ways, both in love and compassion as well as in power and judgement. The fear of the Lord is not natural to human beings, we are too proud to think of God in that way. It is when we humble ourselves to know Him that true fear of the Lord grows within us. To learn about the fear of God and how to grow in this healthy fear read the following Proverb:
My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,
So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;
Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God.
– Proverbs 2:1–5
Wisdom is Teachable
Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses.
– Psalm 25:12
God doesn’t teach everyone. He teaches only those that fear Him. The fear of the Lord leads to wisdom because it is these people that God is willing to teach. Why would anyone teach someone who doesn’t respect them and what they have to say? It’s the same with God. He knows if we don’t fear Him that we won’t listen to and do what He has to say. So cultivate a teachable spirit so that fears God and then God will teach you.
Wisdom is Essential
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom.
– Proverbs 4:7
If you put wisdom first many other things will fall into place automatically. Seek to get wisdom, invest time and money in getting wisdom, value wisdom above all else. Wisdom will protect you and guard you. Wisdom will bring you honour and will promote you . Wisdom is essential to a great life and to great friendships. Most importantly, you need to get wisdom as this Proverb says. If the Bible is telling you to get something then you must know that it can be gotten! Decide to do whatever you need to do to get wisdom.
Wisdom is Happiness
Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding;
– Proverbs 3:13
There is not much explanation to offer on this verse as it says what it means and means what it says. It is very clear that wisdom will bring happiness into your life. If you want to be a happy person and a happy friend to someone, make sure you are wise.
Wisdom is Humble
Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
– Proverbs 3:7
By pride comes nothing but strife, but with the well-advised is wisdom.
– Proverbs 13:10
There is a strong connection between wisdom and humility. It takes wisdom to be humble and it takes humility to be wise. Check yourself and see what sort of person you are. Do you tend to be proud or arrogant? If so then you need to deal with this in order to gain wisdom. Pride often stems from insecurity and the best way to get secure is to stop comparing yourself with anyone else and to simply know that God loves you just as you are, even with your faults and imperfections.
The other great tip in the Proverbs is not to be wise in your own eyes. As soon as you think you are wise you have fallen into the pride trap. A truly wise person will be too humble to even know that they are wise. A truly wise person will give God the glory for any wisdom that they are credited for as they know where the wisdom came from in the first place.
Ask for Wisdom
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
– James 1:5
The great thing about wisdom is that it is available for all who ask. It is not reserved for clever people or for intellectuals. Wisdom is not only for those who have been to university or for those who were raised in a good home. True wisdom comes from God and is available to absolutely anyone who asks for it. So why wait, ask God for wisdom right away and see what He will do in your life.
Being a good friend means that you are a wise friend. Once you have gained wisdom for yourself you will be better equipped to hang out with ‘fools’ so that they too can grow in wisdom as a result of your friendships with them. To think that you can grow wise and influence your friends by not having wise people in your life is foolishness. We need to have good and wise friends in order to be a good and wise friend to those that are not there yet.
Knowledge vs. Wisdom
Having a lot of knowledge does not automatically assume that you have wisdom. Knowledge is the accumulation of facts. Facts without application are worthless. It is the ability to evaluate the knowledge. Understanding and interpreting knowledge is the first part in turning knowledge into wisdom. The next step is to correctly apply that knowledge.
Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom.
– Charles Spurgeon
Grow in knowledge and the fear of the Lord by reading your bible daily. Grow in wisdom by applying the knowledge you gain with the help of the Holy Spirit. Then and only then can you become a wise friend.