The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe… It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man… Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?[i]
Why is it that what people think of us matters so much? All the praise in the world feels good but it doesn’t stick, but let one negative comment be said and that, THAT sticks like glue. It doesn’t even have to be someone we know – it could be a complete stranger though it hurts more when it is someone close.
It is called different things: people-pleasing, codependency, fear of man.
God created us for relationship. Relationship first with Him and second with those around us. Far too often we flip flop that.
“The person(s) to whom we ascribe most authority — to define who we are, what we’re worth, what we should do, and how we should do it — is the person(s) we fear the most, because it is the person(s) whose approval we want most….It is a fear of losing or not obtaining something we really desire, which is why it wields such power over us….The person(s) whose reward of approval we desire most — whose curse of disapproval we most fear to receive — is the person(s) we will obey, our functional god.”[ii] This is what or who really rules our hearts.
Sisters, we cannot simultaneously fear God and fear man. Therefore, when we find ourselves wrestling with fear of man, people-pleasing or codependency (whatever you call it) let’s stop and see it for what it is. God-replacement.
“I, I am he who comforts you;
who are you that you are afraid of man who dies,
of the son of man who is made like grass,
and have forgotten the Lord, your Maker,
who stretched out the heavens
and laid the foundations of the earth…” Isaiah 51:12-13
“The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
“The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.” Proverbs 14:27
The more we pursue a healthy, holy fear of God, the less we will struggle with fear of man.
Written by Diane Hunt: Diane Hunt serves on the board of America’s Keswick and provides ministry support from her home 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: “The DNA of joy is gratitude.” ―