Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment. Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life. If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.
(Proverbs 9:10-12 NLT)
We can fear many things in this life, most of which can do us some harm, but other things that really cannot harm us often get in our way through unrealistic fear. If you have ever watched a movie and jumped at some unexpected happening, you had unrealistic fear. What you saw was not real. It was a portrayal on the screen, but you somehow took it as real, internalizing it as a reality. For just a moment your emotions were caught up, causing you to believe you were to react to that fear. Many of the things we fear might not be based in reality, for God tells us to fear nothing when he is in control of our lives. As we revere him as Lord and Savior of our lives, we displace the unreal and accept the real into that previously occupied space. Wisdom rules were foolishness once had the primary spot.
Knowledge of God is good, but getting firsthand knowledge of him comes as we get to know him on a much deeper level than just studying ABOUT him. To really get to know someone we spend time with them. We allow them to share bits and pieces of who they are with us. We share bits of our lives. In time, we say we are familiar with each other...acquaintances so to speak. To become closer, we begin to open up in the areas we guard for the ones who prove they can be trusted with those things. God is much the same way...opening up deep wells of his truth to those who can be trusted with his knowledge. They are the ones who will use his knowledge to grow and to help others to grow, too. He opens up great depths to those willing to explore AND implement these truths.
The key to knowledge isn't in the obtaining of it, but rather in the use of that knowledge. Good judgment is the outcome of applied knowledge when that knowledge comes from his deep wells! To become wise, one embraces the truths, that once applied, will make us stronger, more loving, and solid in our stand. To deal with unreal fear, one embraces truth. In terms of the movie example above, we turn off the TV and walk away telling ourselves we are safe, it was just a show, and all is well. In much of what we form fears over in life, we may not escape that easily. For example, if we have a fear of making new relationships, we likely don't put ourselves out there that easily. It brings us anxiety...unreal fear. We fear rejection or something bad happening to us if we extend ourselves. It isn't that we don't want relationship, but we have attached some unrealistic fear (emotional control) to these encounters. To overcome the fear, one will eventually have to give up that emotional control and jump into the deep end.
One unrealistic fear we can put to rest is that God will reject us when we put ourselves out there. He isn't in the business of rejecting, but of welcoming. As we revere him as Lord and Savior, we are saying we want to give up all our unreal fear...embracing truth and then learning to walk by that truth. It may not mean we get rid of all our unrealistic fear to begin with, but the more we get to know him, the more we will lay down those things that just aren't true about ourselves and even about others. Just sayin!