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Back to Basics – The Fear of Man

Do you know what the #1 fear in our nation is?

 

by Pastor TJ Freeman - October 22, 2015

Do you like to fly? I did until I had a bad experience on one flight. I didn’t realize how much it had impacted me until I went to fly again and found myself feeling fearful as I boarded the plane. Today, just the thought of speeding through the air at 30,000 feet causes my heart to race and my adrenaline to pump.

But, I’m not alone…over 25 million Americans share the same anxiety I feel as I take those last few steps down the jetway and onto an airplane.

Although many Americans confess a fear of flying, it is by no means the number one fear. Any guesses as to what the number one fear might be?

It’s the fear of public speaking.

The thought of standing in front of a group and speaking for any amount of time sends chills down the spines of millions and millions of people. Perhaps you are one of them.

But what’s really behind the fear of public speaking? Surely you aren’t afraid that the group is going to harm you…or that the experience will have a negative impact on your life.

The real fear has little to do with the speaking and much to do with the public.

The fear of public speaking highlights a fear that exists, in one form or another, in all of us… the fear of man.

What does it mean to fear man? It has little do with the fear that another person is going to harm you — although, that may at times be true.

The fear I’m referring to has more to do with what other people think about you. I like John Bunyan’s described the fear of man as “the fear of losing man’s favor, love, goodwill, help, and friendship.”

In simpler terms, you and I have an innate desire to earn and keep the approval of others.

That might not sound so bad on the surface, but consider the ramifications.

The fear of man is what causes you to give in to peer pressure.

The fear of man is what holds you back from speaking up when you know you should.

The fear of man is what causes you to spend too much time in front of the mirror, or on the scales, or at the mall.

It can lead to codependency, overcommitment, low self-esteem, overspending and financial trouble, and a whole host of secondary problems.

One thing is sure — the fear of man will always keep you from living up to your potential by enslaving you to your perception of what others think about you.

Would you be surprised if I told you that you were created to long for approval? You’re actually hard-wired with a desire to live a life that is pleasing — a life that really matters.

But, we get into trouble when we seek the approval of men. The wisest man ever to live, King Solomon, had this to say about the fear of man in Proverbs 29…

The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.

You were created to long for approval, but that approval cannot come from men, but only from God. After all, you were created for His glory!

If you are in Christ, remember that God fully approves of you — and live your life in joyful worship — free of the fear of man.

But, if you’ve not placed your faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sins, you have good reason to fear. Only it is not man you should fear, but your Creator God — the one you’ve offended in your sin.

But, by God’s grace you can repent of your sin even today — and know that joy of living in light of God’s approval.

If you’d like to talk about this, please feel free to contact me. Thanks for joining us today!

Pastor TJ can be reached via phone: (570) 724-3741
Or by email: tj@wellsborobible.com

Credits:

Writing: N/A

 

Produced by Vogt Media

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