“The fear of man lays a snare, but those who trust in the LORD are safe.”Proverbs 29:25
I can recount the many times I have allowed the fear of what people might think about me control my thoughts and actions. Not long ago I can remember the fear of man keeping me from posting so much about Jesus, I was afraid a certain person or persons might not like me as much anymore, so because of that fear, I didn’t post as much about Jesus. Looking back, I can see just how powerful I had allowed the fear of what people might think to become in my life.
When I was in high school, I would dress and talk a certain way in my attempts to please those I feared the most. I didn’t fear them because they were scary people, but because I wanted them to like me. I placed them up on a pedestal. I allowed them far too much control in my life and because of that I placed myself in a prison to some made up fear in my own mind. It’s always a “what if” made up fear. If I wear this shirt, so and so might make fun of me. If I pray at lunch, so and so might not think I”m cool. If I don’t have a perfect home, my friends might think poorly of me. If my children aren’t perfect people the pastor will think I’m a failure as a parent.
If, if, if….
King Zedekiah dealt with the same fear. As Jeremiah warned him of the impending judgment God would bring from Babylon he told him to surrender himself to the King of Babylon.
“I am afraid of the Jews who have gone over to the Babylonians, for the Babylonians may hand me over to them and they will mistreat me.” (Jeremiah 38:19)
“I am afraid.”
Zedekiah was so afraid of what “might” happen, it kept him from being obedient to God. There are always devastating consequences relationally when we choose to disobey God. In our attempts to somehow bring comfort to our minds filled with fear we act, say and do things that are completely irrational and that rarely if ever bring comfort to our frazzled, worried and fearful minds. Truth is, whatever is causing us fear, is often not reality at all. It’s usually something we’ve made up in our own minds.
In order to be free, we first have to be honest about our fears, confessing them to God and asking for His victory to walk in freedom, in Jesus name. Then, as those fears rise up in us throughout the day, continue to go before the throne room of God, allowing Him to reshape your thinking, so that eventually, fear doesn’t rear its ugly head so often and that person or persons no longer hold such an unhealthy place in our lives anymore. Lastly, stand on the promises of God in scripture.
The only person you can truly please is God. Live to honor Him and you will walk in true freedom.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Tim 1:7