The beginning of wisdom....

According to both Psalm 111:10 and Proverbs 9:10, fear of the Lord (read fear as "awe" not "being frightened of") is the beginning of wisdom.  Proverbs 1:7 says that "fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction." It is an open question as to whether wisdom can be equated with knowledge.

On the other hand, according to a Chinese proverb, the beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.  

I rather like all of these proverbs and like the ideas intertwined here - wisdom, knowledge, attitude, actions.  Fortunately, they don't have to be considered in either-or fashion. God is first, unquestionably. But this whole "calling things by their right names" thing is pretty good. Maybe we could say that's maturity.... but is being mature equal to being wise?

What thoughts do you have about the beginning of wisdom?  Discuss.


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Bill Bynum said…
First of all, I am a living example of why equating maturity (that is, superannuation) with wisdom is not a good idea. I have been a knowledge nerd all my life. Learning new things has always been fun (if only forgetting weren't so easy). But again, it's pretty clear to me that in my own case, knowledge and wisdom are not equivalent, either. Wisdom is a deeper word, something that somehow appears, is not diligently acquired, and cannot be demanded. A gift of God's grace, I suppose. It is certainly something to pray for.
Thanks for this thoughtful response, Bill. I have to say that I often pray for wisdom. Which is one of the reasons why I liked the idea of wisdom as calling things by their right names... it comes in many forms.