The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10)
There are many things in my life that are not the way that I would like them to be. For example, I eat too much, there is too much clutter in my life and many of the things that I do are motivated by self-centredness. I try to be wise about how I do things, but I barely make a dent in the bad habits in my life before they balloon back up to be as big or bigger than before.
Part of the reason for this is the seductive nature of our bad habits. They call out to us and promise soul-soothing delight. In a way, they deliver some of what they promise. But they always fall short, and what they do deliver always comes with a cost. Our bad habits bind us and control us and they always lead to death instead of life.
The Bible tells us that “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” Knowing what to do is not enough to overcome a bad habit. Wanting to change is not powerful enough to overcome something that has become deeply ingrained into our lives. It takes God.
Those who have gone through a 12 Step healing and recovery program know that the first step towards healing is to admit that we are powerless over our bad habits and addictions. We keep trying to manage these troublesome areas in our lives on our own, and it never works. We might as well admit what is already true and turn our life over to God’s loving care.
But it is a very humiliating thing to admit to one’s self and to others that we have problems and we are unable to manage or solve them. That humility is exactly what we need to knock ourselves out of first position in our lives and make room for Jesus to come in and have complete control over our lives. Because he loves us, Jesus lets us suffer the painful consequences of our own personal inadequacy until we say, “Enough! I whole-heartedly want to do things your way, Jesus!” Then he comes in and heals our heart with his love, he nourishes our soul with his presence, and he transforms my mind with his wisdom. Fear, in the sense of whole-hearted reverence and respect, of Jesus is the beginning of wisdom. He is a much better manager of my life than I could ever be. After all, he is God and I am not. All I have to do is resign from trying to manage my own life and invite him to come in and live his life through me.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, I admit to you that I am powerless over all the many challenges that I face in my life. Please come in and live your life through me. Amen.