"The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe." Proverbs 29:25
What haunts you? What constantly lurks in your mind? What is it that frightens you into stopping dead in your tracks or pushes you into hiding?
Ghouls and goblins are all the rage this time of year, but Hollywood's most spine-chilling horror scenes pale in comparison to the everyday opinions and approval of ordinary men. It's more terrifying than demons and more fiendish than devils.
Criticism, rejection, the need for respect--these things can cripple us. We may not hide under the covers or shake uncontrollably in the fetal position , but we do become paralyzed in other ways. It can paralyze our speech or make us indecisive. The desire for approval can force us to hide behind certain patterns of behavior that are unbecoming or irrational.
Each of these examples is an example of someone who is ensnared. Their ego is enslaved to the approval of others. What's more, their lives are caught in a grinding mess of keeping this inflated image.
But the cross of Christ brings redemption. When we crucify our ego and turn to Christ we find great freedom and safety.
The gospel affords us a ton of relief; it provides us with the greatest form of security: God accepts us, sinners though we are.
Our identity is not tied to what my neighbor thinks, but now it is tied up in my union with Christ. Here is my solace: God thinks of me as His child! I am at peace because my life is hidden with Christ in God.
As our minds are cased upon God, we can be bold to live and speak as we ought. There is confidence and self assurance because we know that God's approval is the only thing of real worth. Man's approval is fleeting and vain.
Those who are in Christ do not need to be constantly looking over their shoulder or worrying what is in the minds of others. They are freed from these hauntings because they are ever looking up to God, to please Him.
The Truth will Set You Free
Self examination can be scary, but this questionnaire may help set you free. These 14 questions can help you find out if you are trapped in the fear of man.