“The fear of man brings a snare,
But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.” Proverbs 29:25
“For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10
“The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
““The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10
When I learned of an illegal activity taking place somewhere, my first instinct was to think of myself and how it affected me. I was a little upset, a little angry, a little concerned, and pretty sure I wanted to tell someone what was going on – for my sake. And because I was upset with the people doing the illegal activity. But the Lord is ever teaching me not to be impulsive, so I waited a couple of days until I was calm and sought the Lord. He had by then reminded me He provides for and protects me, and this wasn’t about me. I was off the hook then concerning reporting the illegal activity, right? Wrong. The Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart I had a responsibility to tell someone what was going on.
My immediate response? NO WAY! Why? I was afraid of what people would think of me. I was afraid of what the people in charge would think, and I was afraid of what the people doing wrong would think if they found out I had told. Ugh. What should I do? Be silent, obviously, right? Wrong. The Lord had long since taught me that THE FEAR OF MAN is a SIN against God, and that our thoughts, words, and actions should NOT be in response to what others may or may not think or say about us or even do in response to us. Our thoughts, words, and actions should be IN OBEDIENCE TO GOD. We should FEAR GOD, not man. We should REVERE God. We should honor Him. We should do what God wants regardless of how people might or might not respond. The Lord led me to repentance that day, gave me the courage to make the call, and then afterward gave me this message.
Let’s make sure our thoughts, words, and actions line up with God and His Word, with His ways and not the world’s ways, with what He desires rather than what we and others desire. God first. Always. When we find ourselves worrying about what others might think, say, or do, we need to repent and turn to God, seek Him, wait on Him, trust Him, and obey Him when His Spirit always in line with His Word leads us forth.
A hard lesson. A hard reminder. But very necessary. For the right way to live is in love for and obedience to God, in fear, or reverence, of Him. Not in fear of man. Let’s honor the Lord, AMEN!