Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever! Psalm 111:10 Everyone wants to be wise, but fear is rarely valued as a positive virtue. Fear is typically associated with running away, living in paranoia, or lacking any kind of stability. Jesus repeatedly told His disciples to not be afraid, so why would the writer of this psalm note that “fear of the Lord” is the foundation of wisdom? Isn’t fear the opposite of faith? What if this “fear” isn’t quaking at the thought of God but is a humbling, unsettling grasp of God’s holiness and power? The accounts of God showing up among the people in the Old Testament are truly fear-inspiring, but God was also very careful to avoid terrifying people. Even when Moses reflected the glory of God he veiled his face. God doesn’t use His glory and power in order to terrify you into submission. Jesus reaches out to you in love, saying, “Do not fear” (Luke 12:32). However, if you begin to imagine that you’re wiser than God, capable of controlling your life, or free to do as you please, the fear of God’s power and holiness can offer a helpful correction. Should God choose to show up, you’ll have a fearful reminder of how unwise your life choices have been.