Godliness is a Lifestyle
Knowing God means we are well informed about him, acquainted with him, recognizing him as the Supreme Being, respecting him, identifying with him and endearing ourselves to him. There are other terms like, “Fearing God” and “Loving God,” which more or less carry the same meaning. All these terms refer to lifestyles of people who live in reverence to God and in accordance to what he requires of them as taught in the Holy Scriptures.
Knowing or fearing or loving God is a person’s deliberate choice. One chooses to discipline oneself in consciousness of God’s supreme worth. In other words one chooses to live a life that worships God — that honors him in word and deed.
Wisdom can be defined as a person’s ability to live intelligently, judiciously and morally, for that person’s own benefit and for the benefit of others. Although most people are born with some degree of wisdom, it is mainly acquired in the course of grappling with life. The Bible says that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and understanding (Psalms 111: 10). The wisdom the Bible talks about is such as that in the above definition. Such wisdom makes a person capable of making good judgment in the day to day living. The New Bible Dictionary’s definition of wisdom supports this argument:
Basically, wisdom is the art of being successful, of forming the correct plan to gain the desired results. Its seat is the heart, the center of moral and intellectual decision 1
According to the Bible, knowledge or fear of God is the starting point of gaining true wisdom. The fear of God entails loving God practically, for example, deliberately making sacrifices for the sake of pleasing him, reading the Bible and related literature and observing Scriptural standards of behavior, being humble and dealing with people compassionately, etc.
The Benefits of Godliness
Naturally, people who tend to exclude godliness from their lives are likely to be vulnerable to moral temptations which may lead them to bad or even destructive choices and decisions due to their lack of accountability to God. By contrast, a person who practices godliness learns more and more to distinguish good from bad and right from wrong. Such experience teaches that person to make profitable decisions and choices for his/her life or family or group, etc. The one word for such decisions and choices is wisdom. The fear of God also influences a person to have self-control which is useful when faced with tempting situations on the road of life, with the result that he will escape the consequences of yielding to such temptations. Self-control is therefore another fruit of wisdom and grandchild fruit of godliness.
The Bible describes a wise person as blessed, and wisdom as a big asset to its possessor (Proverbs 3:13-18)
1 J.D.Douglas and others, eds, New Bible Dictionary (Second Edition), Leicester: Intervarsity
Press, 1982, pg. 1225.