Many of us worry what other’s think of us. Another person’s opinion can seem like such an important factor in our lives that we often become caught up in fear. Thankfully, the Bible holds the answer for those who are struggling with this all-too-common issue.
Proverbs 29:15 states, “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.” What profound truth is found in this one short verse! Anyone who had ever struggled with the fear of man knows that this problem can drag us deeper and deeper downward very quickly. Our minds can become absolutely consumed with wondering what others think of us to the point where we find ourselves acting, speaking, and dressing in certain ways just to fit in and feel approved, all the while gripped with terror that we will slip up and be exposed and rejected for who we are. But that is not the free and peaceful life our Lord calls us to!
Galatians 1:10 asks, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” We see in these verses the truth about the problem of the fear of man; we are seeking approval from the wrong person! We were never created to find our peace and satisfaction in anyone other than God, so when we seek these things through the approval of people, we become caught in ensnaring fear. But “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18). The answer lies in loving Christ more and more every day. The more we love Him, the more we will care what He thinks of us, and the more we will want to obey Him. In this lifestyle is found true peace and satisfaction.
When we are fervently seeking the approval of others, we are seeking to serve ourselves. Placing Christ first in our lives and seeking to please Him rather than ourselves or other people begins us on the path to freedom from the chains of the fear of man. How different and how fulfilling a life would we have if we put as much energy as we expend trying to be approved by others into seeking to please God! It is God’s opinion that matters for eternity, so let’s pour all our energies into seeking to please and honor Him above all else, trusting that only He is worthy of our total devotion.