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The Fear of Man Is a Snare
11 March 2013
 
 
Although this article can be read on its own, it is also the sixth in a series of articles. You might like to read the previous five first, in order to understand the context that the following thoughts were written in: A couple of days ago I wrote in The Dangers of Presumption
As month after month of unemployment dragged on, I felt increasing pressure, from various sources, to find a job and earn a living.
  • To be a good son, husband and father by providing for the financial needs of my family
  • To be a good member of society, leave the ranks of the unemployed, and be a man who provides for his family
  • To be a good Christian and obey what the Bible says: "The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat." (see 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15; also 1 Timothy 5:8)
Some of this pressure was spoken, and some was unspoken. Some of it was real, and some was imagined. At this point I can't calculate the percentages of each. But no matter if the source was spoken or unspoken, real or imaginary, the result was the same: I was feeling tremendous pressure to make other people happy, and avoid their disapproval, by getting a job.

In the end, I was being motivated more by trying to please other humans than I was by trying to please and obey God. And I was more worried about what other people thought of me than of what God thought of me. The Bible has a lot of strong things to say on this subject:
  • Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in Yahweh is kept safe. (Proverbs 29:25)
  • Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah. (Galatians 1:10)
  • Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.... we don't seek human praise. (1 Thessalonians 2:4b,6)
  • Yeshua said, "No wonder you can't believe! For you gladly honor each other, but you don't care about the honor that comes from the One who alone is God." (John 5:44)
  • They loved human praise more than the praise of God. (John 12:43)
  • Yeshua said, "I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him." (Luke 12:4-5)
  • Yeshua said, "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28)
  • Yeshua said, "Anyone who loves their father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me." (Matthew 10:37)
  • Yahweh is with me. I will not be afraid of what man can do to me. It is better to trust in Yahweh than to trust in man. It is better to trust in Yahweh than to trust in rulers. (Psalm 118:6,8,9)
  • Everything that does not come from faith is sin. (Romans 14:23b)
These Scriptures pretty much say it all, and there's really not a whole lot to add. It is clear to me now that rather than being motivated by faith in God, I was being driven by two sinful attitudes:
  • Man-Pleaser: I was more concerned about pleasing the people around me than about pleasing God.
  • Fear of Man: I was more worried about what other people thought of me than about what God though of me.
No only were these two sinful attitudes the motivation behind me accepting my recent job, but they were also my motivation to even be job hunting in the first place. I was not looking for a job because God was instructing me to do so. On the contrary, what I feel God has been telling me is to wait. At the time I lost my job at The ElijahList, I even felt like He told me that I would not be going back to a computer job. I could end up being wrong about that, and if God does want me in a computer job at some point in the future, I will have no problem admitting I was wrong. But until then, that's what I believe God has told me.

My unsanctioned job-hunting was also being motivated by a fear of the future — about how our finances would work out for the long-term, and being afraid of a lack of provision. Fear comes from the enemy, and all my motivations for seeking employment were centered around fear. No wonder I got lost on the wrong path! No wonder this new job ended up being a snare for me! But God, in His severe mercy, let me go through a very hard time in order to wake me up and get me back on the right path, to follow Him instead of my fears and the opinions and approval of others.

After the miseries of my recent emotional meltdown, I feel that new light has come into my heart. This strong wake-up call has enabled me to put aside the fear and the lies I have believed about God, and now I'm starting afresh in my relationship with God once again. So I have hope for the future, because He is a God of hope! "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 15:13)

My next article will consider what our lives might look like once we put aside the snares of the fear of man and being a man-pleaser, when we live as Foreigners and Nomads Here On Earth.
This article is 14th a series of articles on this Web site related to My Journey with Yeshua (Jesus) which also includes (scroll to see the entire list):
1.
7  Jan  2010
2.
1  Aug  2010
3.
28  Sep  2010
4.
7  Oct  2010
5.
27  Oct  2010
6.
20  Dec  2010
7.
27  Jun  2011
8.
20  Dec  2012
9.
17  Feb  2013
10.
7  Mar  2013
11.
8  Mar  2013
12.
9  Mar  2013
13.
10  Mar  2013
14.
The Fear of Man Is a Snare
11  Mar  2013
15.
12  Mar  2013
16.
13  Mar  2013
17.
14  Mar  2013
18.
15  Mar  2013
19.
28  Apr  2013
20.
8  Jul  2013
21.
14  Jul  2013
22.
11  Aug  2013
23.
24  Oct  2013
24.
18  Nov  2013
25.
20  Dec  2013
26.
28  Jan  2014
27.
4  Sep  2014
28.
16  Jan  2015
29.
23  May  2015
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