On a conscious level, many people take pride in the fact that they don’t really care what other people think of them. Their opinions don’t define them; they live freely as they choose, and they walk confidently forward on any path they take. I believe, though, that deep down inside we are all the same – we do care how others think of us, and other people’s opinions of us can drive us to do things that we ordinarily wouldn’t do in our right mind. Sometimes, our perceptions of others shape how we think we’re perceived, and we act accordingly even if it’s not based on fact or truth.
To a certain extreme, we can allow other people’s opinions to hold us back from doing what we should do. For example, have you ever felt “trapped” because you want to stand up for yourself but you’re too afraid of sticking out like a sore thumb or becoming a “nag” to other people? You allow your fear of man to ensnare you in a pit of passivity – you know what you ought to do, but you don’t do it because you’re afraid.
Fear is a normal part of life. Everyone feels it, but it is the courageous that feel the fear and still move forward in spite of it. How much does fear rule your life? If you’re not sure, count the number of times per day that you hesitate from doing/saying something due to a reason related to what others may think of you. Do you live fearlessly or do you live in your own cage like a tamed lion?
“The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” Proverbs 28:1
“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” Proverbs 29:25
What does it mean to NOT fear man?
- You will live boldly and confidently, because you know your identity is found in Christ.
- You will entrust the outcome of your words and actions in God’s hands.
- God is your security and safety net.
- You will not back down if someone treats you unfairly.
- You will humbly stand up for yourself without being demanding.
- You will take on Jesus’s spirit of humility in the face of opposition or undeserved treatment.
- God’s opinion of you far outweighs what people think of you.
- You don’t feel trapped by virtue of your own thoughts or perceived reality.
- You lean more on God’s Word than your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5)
Being bold as a lion is about fearing God above all things, and then your fear of man’s opinions of you will subside.
#bold #courage #fearless #fearGod #musingz4life #fearofman #snare #trap