8/29/2014

Fearing a Human Being


It is perhaps natural to fear a powerful man. For instance, it might be natural to fear your boss, since he or she has the authority to fire you.

As a Christian, it might also be natural to fear a Christian leader who is in a position of authority. Some might think that the Christian leader is closer to heaven than you. Thus, you might seek your leader's approval and blessing by regarding it as being similar or equivalent to the approval and blessing of God.

But Prov 29:25 states explicitly that fearing a man, any man, even a good man, or a Christian leader, is not wise. "Fearing people is a dangerous trap" (Prov 29:25, NLT). "The fear of man is a snare" (Prov 29:25, HCSB). "The fear of man brings a snare" (Prov 29:25, NASB).
In fact, fearing a human being traps you and snares you. Fear is paralyzing. It clouds objectivity. It mushes your brain.

Why?

You think that your blessing and happiness depends on a man...rather than God.

Therefore, according to Prov 29:25, the ONLY safe place to be is to trust God, which by default means that you do not live in fear of a human being. The early Christians were bold and courageous to testify about Christ before the angry religious authorities (Ac 4:13). They prayed for boldness (Ac 4:29). When questioned and threatened by the religious leaders, the apostle Peter said, "We must obey God rather than human beings!" (Ac 5:29)

The only caveat I might add is that to not fear man DOES NOT MEAN to treat any person rudely, disrespectfully or dismissively.