The Fear of Man is a Trap
Fear paralyzes. It cripples. It stalls and halts even the best intentions.
That’s why Solomon called it a “snare.” Specifically, his words in Proverbs 29:25 are that “the fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.” God’s Word is revealing that fearing man and his opinion of us is actually an enemy of our faith. When we replace faith in God with fear of man, we will find ourselves trapped. In the words of the text, “ensnared,” meaning unable to free ourselves from the clutches of another’s hold.
The antidote to fearing man is trusting God. This requires two things.
First, we must keep our eyes vertical, looking upwards to Jesus as the standard. He is the Captain of our Salvation, the main character in God’s story of redemption. Keeping our eyes fixed on him as our loving Savior and coming Judge will prevent us from wandering, looking around horizontally for others’ approval. When our eyes drift from the vertical position, our faith weakens and fear rises. We end up taking detours because of this fear that eventually leads to destruction. Truly, that fear becomes a trap that stops us in our tracks, leaving us vulnerable and victoryless.
Second, we must keep our feet biblical, standing strong on God’s Word as the basis for all that we believe and do. God has spoken, and his Word is clear. Our response is to stay put, not shifting away from it due to cultural pressure, political correctness, or personal ease. The minute we look for footing outside of the foundation of Scripture, we’re stepping into the snare set by the devil, namely, being caught by the fear of others that keeps you from living with faith in God.
Now, perhaps more than ever, God’s people need fixed eyes and settled feet.
Today, when you’re tempted to step away from both the Word of God and the Son of God, resist that deceitful, temporarily beautiful, lure. It’s an illusion. You may think you’re gaining traction with others, but you’re really getting trapped by your fear of them.
Live, instead, on the rock of faith in God, not on the sand of the fear of man. Enjoy the lasting security that comes from having your eyes fixed on Jesus and your feet set on his Word.