The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted. —Proverbs 29:25
Do you find yourself craving the praise and appreciation of others? How is this creating fear in your life? How is this affecting your faith?
Read: John 12:42-43
Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God. —John 12:42-43
“Notice that John doesn’t say that their problem was one of poor self-esteem or feelings of inferiority. No, he pinpoints their problem as being a problem of love. What did they love more than the approval of God? The approval of man. What did they long for more than the praise that would come to them from God: “Well done, good and faithful servant”? They loved the praise of their peers. In fact, they loved it so much that they disobeyed Christ’s command to witness for Him.” —Elyse Fitzpatrick
The word loved in John 12:42-43 is a very strong Greek word, agapao. In the context of this passage, this is a word which means they lived for and were addicted to the approval of men.
Am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. —Galatians 1:10
Galatians 1:10 poses a valid question for us to consider. When our lives are focused on gaining the favor of others or pleasing them for our own goals, we’ll be at cross-purposes with the Lord. Either we seek the Lord’s favor or we seek man’s favor and our choice affects the way we live our lives.
As you consider whether you have a disposition to fear man or try to gain others’ approval, can you identify behaviors that are linked to it?…continue reading