“Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.”
Our culture puts a great emphasis on education. Children spend 8 hours a day in school, college campuses are only expanding, and many people pursue further education after work. Though education will give us knowledge, only God will give us wisdom.
Wisdom by definition is:
the soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment.
According to the dictionary, wisdom cannot be achieved without knowledge, experience or good judgment. God possesses of all these qualities.
Knowledge can exist without wisdom, but wisdom cannot exist without knowledge. Proverbs 9:10 and Proverbs 1:7 tell us that that God is the beginning of knowledge. This makes perfect sense because He knows all things(1 John 3:20). We need to look to Him for our understanding of the world. We need to understand that God is the ultimate source of knowledge. Professors, philosophers, and personal experience can only take one so far. No one is all-knowing like God is.
In other words, we need to fear the Lord to gain wisdom.
“...then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.”
“Fear of the Lord” doesn't mean that we need to be scared of Him. It means that we need to respect Him for who He is and acknowledge his divine qualities. This respect is better known as reverence which is: a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe or veneration.
This type of respect is similar to a child's respect for their parent. They understand that their parent is their authority figure, and that their parent knows what's best.
So to start our journey to wisdom, we need to look to God to gain knowledge.
Having good judgment is a big part of having wisdom. The book of Proverbs is full of examples where in the same situation, someone can make a foolish decision, and someone can make a wise decision, leading to different consequences. In these examples, the ways of the wise follow the Lord's commandments, or act in a way that will glorify God. Such as, having humility, working with diligence, or having reverence for the Lord.
God alone is good(Mark 10:18). He is righteous and His judgments are always good(Psalm 119:137). Therefore, we must certainly depend on the Lord to give us guidance for good judgment in all situations! The whole book of Proverbs shows us that living in a Godly manner will make us wise, and avoid the ways of the foolish. Putting our knowledge of God and what He expects from us into practice will result in good judgment.
We need experience in order to make wise decisions. If we've never encountered a situation before, we may not be sure how to handle it. Though we can always turn to the Lord in prayer to ask for wisdom(James 1:5) we can also gain much experience through reading the word. The book of Proverbs is probably one of the best places to seek wise advice, but the whole Bible itself is packed with information on how to live a Godly(and therefore wise) life.
Wisdom comes when we apply the knowledge of God to our lives. Jesus is the perfect example of Godly wisdom. In fact, 1 Corinthians 1:24, and 1 Corinthians 1:30, tell us that Christ is the wisdom of God. When we strive to live our lives according to Jesus's example, we will give glory to God, come to know Him more, and become better making judgments about our decisions. When we seek to be wise, we should look to God for knowledge. When we apply our knowledge, we should seek to follow the example of Jesus. And that, is wise.