“The fear of man brings a snare, But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.” Proverbs 29:25, NASB
I feel it’s tentacles’ grip, impeding my devotion to God. Invisibly yet corrosively, fear stops me. Silences me. Prevents me from sharing Christ with family members and with people one-on-one.
The urge to share Christ with family members: I allow fear to stop me.
Occasional promptings to speak about the Lord with various cashiers, store personnel, those in service industries: I usually silence the nudges with fear.
Fear in such scenarios isn’t sin per se, but my response to those fears often is.
When I stay quiet because I’m afraid of what people might think, that’s sin.
They loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God” (John 12:43).
When I disregard the Holy Spirit, that’s sin.
Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19).
It’s sinful when we acquiesce to a fear of man, letting it dictate our thoughts and actions. Giving in to fear of man displays our lack of trust in God. While this statement sounds harsh, it also provides hope. Because the deeper our faith grows, the less we’ll worry about what others think.
God is bigger! God is stronger! His will supersedes all others, and He’s able to replace our fear with faith.
The truth is, thoughts about sharing the Gospel cross my mind just about everywhere I go because the Lord is coming soon. He’ll gather His bride to Himself forever (see 1 Thessalonians 4:17), but He’ll judge those who haven’t received Him as their Savior (see 1 Thessalonians 5:3).
God IS love.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
God also is holy. He’ll deal justly with sin and sinners.
It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).
It’s sinful to lack a fear of God. While this attribute characterizes non-Christians, it also can creep into our subconscious now and then. When we fail to respect and revere God, we foster a bad attitude and lean toward wrong choices.
God hates sin, which necessitated the death of His precious Son on the cross. And one day God will pour out His wrath in “a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall” (Matthew 24:21). This judgment will be followed by eternity in the lake of fire for each person whose “name was not found written in the book of life” (Revelation 20:15). Yet for those who have placed their faith in Christ, “God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9). Praise our matchless Savior!
While the fear of man weakens us, the fear of God empowers us.