January 12, 2023 • Life for Leaders
Scripture — Psalm 111:10
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. If we want to be wise, we should start by recognizing the unparalleled greatness and glory of God. When we ask for divine wisdom, we do so with humility, recognizing God’s superior knowledge and judgment.
No matter the work you do, I expect you often find yourself in need of wisdom. Perhaps you’re dealing with a tricky HR issue and aren’t quite sure how to proceed. Or maybe you’re trying to persuade a potential client in a compelling way. You might be feeling limited by your job and wondering if it’s time for a change. Or perhaps you want to make sure your work reflects God’s justice but aren’t sure what changes need to be made. In these and millions of other situations, you need wisdom.
When it comes to finding wisdom in the Bible, we’re apt to think of the Book of Proverbs. Indeed, it is filled with wise sayings that can guide us in every part of life. But God’s wisdom is woven into all the Scriptures, sometimes explicitly, often implicitly. Certain truths about wisdom are repeated in more than one biblical book. For example, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” appears in Proverbs 9:10 and Psalm 111:10. Today’s workplace prayer is based on this affirmation as found in Psalm 111.
Gracious God, I need wisdom! Yes, I need wisdom every day, of course. But today I am especially eager for wisdom. I am facing a decision that has significant implications. I need to make the right choice. But honestly, I don’t know what’s best. I can see many different possibilities. I can make a case for all of these. Yet I have to choose just one option. I am perplexed, even distressed.
O God, please grant me your wisdom today. Help me to understand what I must know and to see what I must see. Give me your perspective, indeed, your wisdom.
Lord, today I am reminded of how small I am and how great you are. Your knowledge has no limit. Your wisdom is vast. You see everything. You know everything. I, on the contrary, am so limited. There is so much I don’t know, so much I overlook.
So, as I ask for wisdom today, I also bow before you, acknowledging your unequaled power, unlimited knowledge, and unsurpassed wisdom. I bow before you in deferential worship, offering all that I am to you, ready to do your bidding. I am awed by your majesty and humbled by your strength.
All praise, glory, and honor be to you, God of power, God of wisdom. Amen.
Ponder Throughout the Day
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.
For Further Reflection
You may wish to read all of Psalm 111, which has a lot to say about God’s work.
You might also reflect upon Proverbs 8 and/or Ephesians 1:17-23.
Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the High Calling archive, hosted by the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Why Is It Good to Fear God?
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Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.
The devotions on wisdom and working in community have been timely. I am going through some stressful times at work (I am a nurse) with other coworkers. Praying for my attitude to be that of Christ – but I am hurt and wanting to hold on to that hurt. Blessings and thank you