The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. Proverbs 9:10
We learned in yesterday’s devotion that Wisdom has made herself ready. Everything that needs to be done has been taken care of and the invitation to come and partake has been extended. Therefore, we are without excuse;. We either accept the invitation or reject it – the choice is ours.
Proverbs 9:7-12: He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself, And he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself. Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, Reprove a wise man and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser, Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For by me your days will be multiplied, And years of life will be added to you. If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, And if you scoff, you alone will bear it.
If there was ever a time that we need not only to grow in wisdom but to share wisdom with the world, it is now. We are commanded in scripture to “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.(Mark 16:15). But, before we go, before we proclaim, there are some steps we need to take.
Proverbs 9:10 says clearly; wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord. In previous devotions we have discussed both the meaning and application of this admonition so further comment is not really necessary except to say that before we share God’s truths with others, we need to first check ourselves.
- Do I have a fear of the Lord and do I live accordingly? Before we go putting someone else’s house in order, we need to do a check of our own living conditions. This isn’t to say we must be living perfect lives for if that were true, the Wisdom of God would never go forth from the mouth of man. However, as a Christian, we should be known as one who is honorable, truthful, and above all, loving.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
- Do I look to the power of the Holy Spirit to direct me? Or, am I acting in my own strength? Speaking truth into the life of another not only requires that we say the right things but also that we have the right motive and that we choose the right time. Before you set out to plant seeds of wisdom, take some time to pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the right words to say, the boldness to speak them, and to prepare the way that the seeds you are sowing will fall on tilled soil.
[Jesus speaking] “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you. (Matthew 7:6)
- Can I speak without shame or apology? Carefully search your heart. Pray, ask God to search your heart and to reveal any “hidden sin” you may be harboring. Un-repented sin in our lives not only hinders our communion with the Lord and grieves the Spirit, it becomes a stumbling block to our efforts as we try to share God’s truths with others.
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! (Psalms 139:23)
- Am I prepared to accept the consequences? Many times, no matter how much we pray, how much we care, our words are not only rejected but with rejection can come ridicule and scorn. When that happens, it is very painful, especially when it involves someone whom we care deeply about.
[Jesus speaking] “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.(John 15:18-20)
The Lord Jesus Himself has been where you are. He understands your pain. Take your sorrow to Him; He will give you strength and He will lift you up.