The Fear of Man

Just recently, I was frustrated, annoyed, disturbed and distraught over the fact that I was possibly misjudged by my close friends. It should not have bothered me that much since it was something quite innocent (discussed in the previous post), but it did. However, through reflection and writing out my thoughts, I was able to remember what really mattered.

But there was something I found quite peculiar about the whole situation. Yesterday evening, I picked up a book to read that was about the fear of man that I had just gotten the day before but I dropped it back because it wasn’t about what I was feeling in my heart. I was feeling misjudged and bothered about the opinions of others so what does a book about being afraid of man so as not to evangelise to them (or so I thought) have to do with me at the moment? As God would have it, I later picked up the book to read due to the fact that my WiFi was messing up. And you wouldn’t believe what I found- don’t mind me, you probably would:

The fear of man, but in a different sense.

The fear of man in a biblical sense displays itself in many ways, one being that your feelings or actions are governed or hinged upon the opinion of others. Talk about a punch in the gut. Just a few pages in within the first chapter, I was able to discover that the fear of man is basically what happens when we let man replace God. In order words, when we elevate men and depress God. And so we no longer hold God’s opinion of us satisfactorily, but we seem to need more to soothe our hearts, and this more is sought out in men.

Mahn, I knew I was a people pleaser and that I still struggle with it, but what I didn’t realise was just how deep it went through. I now allow men to control me. I hold people in high esteem, giving them the right to direct the course of my behaviour and feelings, when this should be attributed to God. Instead of fearing God, I have now began to fear man. Indeed, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And I have been foolish.

I hold people in high esteem, giving them the right to direct the course of my behaviour and feelings, when this should be attributed to God.

Thank God for the provision of this book*. Thank God for the deeper awareness of the sinful state of my heart. Thank God that even though it will be a lifelong journey of elevating Him above all others, His Spirit does not give up on me, growing me into the heir of the Kingdom that Christ has made me.

Thank you for reading. Have a lovely day, or night, wherever you are xx.

* “When People are Big and God is Small” by Edward T. Welch.


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