"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. . . ." - Proverbs 1:7
This month, as we explore how to relate to others, it's important to know that the Bible's wisdom is not a series of self-help techniques. Instead, the Bible shows that all our relationships depend on the foundation of knowing and trusting God through faith. That's what "the fear of the Lord" refers to: living in awe of God's power, holiness, and amazing love, and wanting to show honor and love for God in all we do.
This way of life begins with realizing we are not as nice as we like to think we are. All our ruptured relationships, from simmering anger to outright wars, are a result of sin, in which we broke our relationship with God. The brokenness began when we disobeyed God and brought the curse of death on our heads (Genesis 3). But God solved that problem by sending his Son to take on the curse for us. Now our relationship with God can be restored when we repent and ask for forgiveness through the Son, Jesus, by God's amazing grace.
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge." This is not the kind of knowledge based only on facts or information. It comes from the understanding and wisdom for daily living that we learn in growing to know God. The knowledge that begins with the foundation of faith in God is evident in wise actions, "prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair." It helps us through life and guides us in relating to others.
Guide us, Lord, teaching us wisdom and love, leading us to restored, enriching relationships. Amen.