Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The bitter pill

"The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe."
Proverbs 29:25
It is a weakness worth having all on it's own. But there are certainly some additional difficulties that can make for a compounded problem.

But before I explain, I think the fear of man can manifest itself in more than just the classic image we have of the Christian who tries to please all those he meets, to the point where he has difficulty witnessing, and indeed even living a holy life. To be specific, the fear of man can sometimes be strongest when we try to please those who are worth pleasing (those who we respect and admire as more experienced Christians) so much it ends up amounting to simple "sucking up."

What would you say to a believer who is prone to this kind of fear of man and on top of it seems to habitually succeed at disappointing most of those he "fears." This indeed is a bitter pill.

Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you;
Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Proverbs 9:8-10
I would say he had better learn as much of humility as he can because I don't think he feels any wiser for his constant stumbling.
<< Home 4 Comments:
Anonymous jackie said...

Good thoughts. Another lamentable branch of fear of dissapointing others is what such a fear leads you into doing. Dishonesty- to hide failures. Or Isolation- to eliminate chances of failure. To name just a few.

10:45 AM, January 24, 2007  
Anonymous Emily said...

Fear of those who are "superior" then us is a common plight amongst mankind I believe. We all want to be noticed by those who are “greater” than us, to be in the “In” group, to be considered a part of a group that is looked up to. We must learn to be content with who we are and where the Lord has us in our spiritual growth. Always excel, but realize that we are all not yet huge pillars in the faith. We need not fear that perhaps we are not as mighty a prayer warrior as the guy next to us, or have vase knowledge of the Greek language, or can explain doctrine so in-depth that our friends are in constant awe of us. We might be able to fool them and led them to believe we are indeed as deep as the famous orators of our day, but the glory must be to God alone and not in our words. It’s ok to be as babes, always excelling, always growing.

4:21 PM, January 25, 2007  
Blogger iMurphy said...

Our culture, even at its best, encourages this. We find our "self-esteem" in the praise of others and so we covet their good graces. Someone who makes others happy is a popular person. People aren't honored anymore for doing what is right in the face of popular opinion.

9:11 PM, January 25, 2007  
Blogger Crystal said...

Interesting thoughts. I will have to ponder them some more but at first thought it brings to mind the fact that in "sucking up" or trying to make yourself look better or measure up to the standard of another person you often trample upon others. either intentionally or not it happens and so then you become a respector of persons. Aside from breaking the commandment of "thou shalt not lie" you also break the golden rule of treating others as you would have them treat you and love your neighbor as yourself.

11:40 AM, January 29, 2007  

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