“Wherever there is fear, there is control.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 29, 2022
So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:6
When I was a young woman, the fear of man defined me. I lived with a constant, nagging feeling that others would become angry at me, that I would disappoint them, and as a result, they would reject me. This made me into a chronic people pleaser. It was very painful to live under the bondage of fearing the disapproval of others. It emotionally paralyzed me and stole my joy.
Proverbs 29:25 says, “Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety.” (NLT). The Amplified Bible says, “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in and puts his confidence in the LORD will be exalted and safe.”
If you struggle with the fear of man and the disapproval of others, here are a few reasons why it’s a trap.
First, it robs your courage. Worrying about what others think will make you feel small and afraid, and will steal your authentic voice and true opinions. You won’t be expressing yourself through your God-given personality. You’ll hold back and hide for the fear of disapproval. God can only fully use you when you are being you. When you’re pretending to be someone else, fulfilling your purpose can be hindered.
It makes you say yes when you should say no. When you say yes when you should say no, you are being disobedient to God and His calling for your life. It’s possible to completely miss the things God wants you to do for His glory and for others if you are people pleasing. When you’re living to please people, you’re not living to please the Lord. Living out of guilt or fear is never beneficial. Wherever there is fear, there is control. It’s best to say yes out of confidence and a conviction that you are in God’s will, rather than out of fear.
People pleasing also takes your eyes off God and puts them on people. This means that rather than God being your Master, others become your master. When you worry more about what others think than what God thinks, you’ll be emotionally enslaved.
So how can you overcome the fear of man? Pastor Rick Warren says that the best way to overcome the fear of man and people pleasing is to trust in God, not in man. This means leaving the results of what happens in our relationships and life to the Lord. Sure, we can acknowledge that we would like the approval of others, but we must also acknowledge that we don’t need that approval. Jesus’ approval is the only approval that we truly need. If we do not have the approval of others, Jesus will carry our hurt and disappointment. He is enough.
Can you imagine if Jesus was more interested in pleasing man than in pleasing His father? The redemption of the cross may never have happened. But because he was committed to please His Father, He was not shaken or moved by the disapproval of others or by the fear of man.
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).
Lord, help me to put my trust in you alone and not shrink back because of the fear of man. I trust you with my life and my relationships. I love you. You are enough and I need only your approval. Amen.
Google scriptures about the fear of man. Choose your favorite one, then write it on a sticky note and place it where you can see it during the day. Read it out loud and choose to believe it.
Gladys Knight and the Be One Choir: Love One Another
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