“I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die, And of the son of a man who will be made like grass?” (Isaiah 51:12)
You may be more familiar with the world’s term for this very common problem the Bible calls “fear of man.” Perhaps you have heard it called “people pleasing” or “co-dependency” or “approval addiction.” At its root, it is placing an inordinate value in what other people think about us. Inordinate? How much would be considered inordinate? Well, for sure, if we value what others think more than what our Creator thinks, that would be inordinate. Exactly who are we listening to? Whose opinion are we valuing?
Here are some ways we fear man:
- We pass a person in the hall and they don’t say “hi” and we worry about it for 3 days
- We seek the praise of people
- Our world crashes when someone criticizes or questions us;
- Our world revolves around another individual, such as our spouse, child or best friend, they are the one we go to to get our world set in order, or to alleviate negative emotions.
There are many other ways. But what they all have in common is that in some way we value what another person thinks or says above what God thinks or says.
“Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, You people in whose heart is My law: Do not fear the reproach of men, Nor be afraid of their insults. For the moth will eat them up like a garment, And the worm will eat them like wool; But My righteousness will be forever, And My salvation from generation to generation” (Isaiah 51:7-8).
“I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die, and of the son of a man who will be made like grass? And you forget the LORD your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth;…” (Isaiah 51:12-13).
This is a common issue for us. Christians are not exempt. We want to be accepted, we want people to like us, and we want to be well thought of. Whether it is ever true of another living human being or not, it will always be true of God. He accepts us. He not only loves us but He likes us, and He thinks well of us, in fact, He delights in us.
To whom will you listen? The created or the Creator?
This devotional was first published in Real Victory for Real Life Volume 2.
Written by Diane Hunt: Diane Hunt serves on the board of America’s Keswick and is the Executive Director & CEO of Changed Choices, a Christian non-profit in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Think About This: “Truth is just truth—it never has to worry about its image. Truth never worries about the effect it will have, about who is going to hate it or who is going to accept it or what there is to lose and what there is to gain.” – A.W. Tozer