Monday, January 3, 2011

How to shake the fear of man

Are you afraid of what people think of you? I think most of us are in some way. Occasionally, I'll meet a person who seems so confident that they truly pay no attention to the opinions of others. I admire them so much. But, let's face it, most of us aren't like that. We want to be liked. We want to fit in. We want to have friends who enjoy our company. We want others to look up to us, respect us. We want to please those in authority over us. (usually).  And there's nothing wrong with all those things. Except when they interfere with our walk with God. Except when they take precedence over our relationship with Him. Except when our fear of man becomes our god.  We cannot serve two masters. We cannot serve God and man.

The Bible says that "The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on, trusts in, and puts his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high" Proverbs 29:25
As the Apostle Paul so eloquently put it:

If I were still seeking popularity with men, I should not be a bond servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10  
Here's what I've noticed the fear of man can do:
  • Cause you to make a bad decision that you wouldn't normally have made
  • Cause you to do something that you know is wrong
  • Cause you to drift from God
  • Cause you to lie
  • Keep you from telling others about the Lord
  • Cause you to flatter people
  • Cause you to hang out with the wrong people

There's probably more I'm not thinking of. But you see where I'm going. This is no small matter in the eyes of God. And to be quite honest with you, I've been dealing with this fear most of my life. But I've come to understand that the Fear of Man usually stems from a poor self image. And a poor self-image usually stems from something in your childhood. For me, it was not having a father in the home and having a very unstable home life.

So what do we do about it? How can we overcome the fear of man? I believe it all comes down to love. We must believe in our value in God's eyes and be rooted and grounded in His love. Then our self-esteem rises and when that happens, our fear of man lowers. So, get into God's Word and ask Him to reveal to you just how much He loves you!

May Christ through your faith dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love, 

Why should we be rooted deep in love?  Ephesians 3 goes on to say

That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth of God's love; That you may really come to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge ; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!

I don't know about you.. but being flooded with God Himself sounds utterly divine to me!  May the God of the Universe reveal Himself to you in 2011 and flood your entire body with His mighty presence!


  1. Monday, January 3rd,
    Morning, MaryLu.
    "Amen, and Amen" to all you shared today ! Another 'timely Word in due season' ... God's Word is SO perfect !!!
    Thanks for sharing, MaryLu.
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  2. So beautiful a thought, to be filled with God. That IS what I want this year! I know that I am a pretty, smart, and strong young woman. I know that God has given me wonderful talents that He intends to use for His glory someday. But when I get around others ladies, I start to feel small and worthless. Especially when I see that they have young men interested in them, whereas I never have. Having a boyfriend is not what I want right now, but I feel unwanted. To compensate for these feelings, I'm often a cut-up, a class clown, like if I can make people think I'm funny they will like me better. While I enjoy making people laugh, I struggle with knowing that I am worth something. And sometimes, while trying to impress people, I make some bad decisions. But you're right, what if I decided to only care about what God thinks of me? How would I change in my heart and in the views of people around me? The people I truly care about already like me, so what have I got to lose?


  3. This is so true, MaryLu. I, too, had an 'incident' in my past that caused me to fear certain people. The fear may be different in some ways, but it caused me to do at least two things on your list. As I grew closer to God, I was able to put my past away for good and focus on my future. I now, on most occasions, have no problem being myself around people. You know, it's funny, whenever I am sick and do not feel well, I seem to be very honest with people. So, I try to stay away from people who bother me whenever I do not feel well, so that I do not say something that I will regret. And if I am on medication, forget about it! I can't stop talking and letting my opinions be heard. Anyway, thanks for an excellent post. Have you considered my suggestion about writing a yearly book of devotions? Have a great week. *hugs* to my Cap'n!

  4. Thank you for writing this, I had been thinking about this sort of thing a lot lately, more specifically when I heard people make fun of my new shirt at school today -- though I will wear it as much as possible now! There is absolutely nothing wrong with it, it's new, clean, appropriate, and it's just a t-shirt. So, I decided to just forget about it, because I love it and it has to do with my heritage. I took a minute to consider never wearing it to please them, but that is absurd. It covers me – the end.
    Anyway, enough rambling! Those things you mentioned, I've noticed in others and even myself at points. Not telling people about the Lord because they don’t believe in Him, say or do something that you know is wrong, but you need a friend right? So you’ll be nice to them so you’re not all alone, but you end up sinning. Why should we care let alone fear what others think? Today is so backwards! Doing good things is considered bad, and then those people feel like they did something wrong, even when they didn't. . .
    So, thank you for writing this. It was very thought provoking. It’s always good to have a reminder that we’re not here for man, we’re here for Him! It’s funny – well not so funny – at school all you hear is people telling you why you shouldn’t believe in God, and then you have to realize who you’re going to live for.

    ~Abigail =D

  5. Thank you for sharing this. God touched me today through you!

  6. As someone who's had low self-esteem issues for a long time I need to keep reminding myself - What can man do to me? It's all about our Audience of One. I'm His beloved and He is mine. It's sad to think that we might miss what God wants for us because we're afraid of what others might think. I've let the enemy beat me up long enough. I want God-esteem.

  7. Fantastic, Mary Lu. Your paragraph beginning "so what do we do" just so very good! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Oh, I'm so glad this post helped all of you. I pray over all these words every week. I've suffered from Fear of Man most of my life and I see that you all can relate.
    Sasafras, you sound so much like me. It's just a part of human nature to want to be loved and accepted. But we must first understand how much God loves and values us, so we won't try and fill this need in the wrong way.
    Debbie, that's funny about being sick or on meds. I think our defenses are down so our tongues become loose. I'm usually really grumpy when I'm sick. LOL I'm so glad you have conquered this fear of man. And thanks for your encouragement to write a devotional. Not sure when I'll find the time, but maybe some day.
    Abigail, I'm so sorry people made fun of your shirt today. That actually made me mad! Anyway, I'm glad you're not going to let them stop you from wearing it. Yes, this world is upside down. Therefore why should we try to please those who are in it? God will provide us with good friends who we can be ourselves with, as long as we put pleasing Him first. And we are NEVER alone! Always loved and beloved.
    Thank you Brenda, K-9, Anonymous and Jackie for your comments. It blesses me so much to have blessed you today. God Esteem. I like that!
    Hugs to all..

  9. Hi MaryLu from your fan in South America. I almost always read your blog posts, though I often don't comment if I'm time limited or don't have anything earth shaking to add. I finally got your book "Surrender the Sea" down here the day before yesterday, but unfortunately this is a really busy time for me (our summer) so I probably won't get to read it for a couple of weeks. It's very tempting though as I HAVE skimmed a bit. I thought I would just mention something about my first impression though, in case the observation is useful to you and/or the designers at Barbour Publishing for the future. The white on black of the back cover blurb is attractive, but so small as to be very uncomfortable to read. I almost went cross-eyed! I honestly can't think of any logical reason why they would choose to make the print that tiny when there is plenty of margin space. Would you just please pass along the news to the publishers that if I picked that book up in a store, I would never try to read the back copy. We readers would really appreciate an updated photo of the author too!

    All that said, you can let them know I love your books! (The print of the inside pages is much better than the outside too.) May God give you a happy, profitable, and fruitful New Year.

  10. I watched a really good episode of It's Supernatural today and I thought you might be interested.

  11. Hi Diane! So glad to hear from you! Where in South America do you live? I forget. Anyway, glad you finally got my new book down there. I agree about the small type on the back cover and will mention that to my publisher. Also, I sent them an updated photo of me too! Thanks. And God bless you in 2011!
    Thanks Anonymous, I'll definitely check out Supernatural when I have a few moments today.

  12. For as long as I can remember I have definitely had a hard time with worrying about what others think of me. Recently I have been trying really hard to be the person God and I want me to be, and do the things God and I think I should do : ) Thanks for posting this! I hope you get better at it, too!

  13. Amen to that. Being flooded with GOd himself sounds divine to me as well. It's something I want so that others may see GOD in me not me. I am nothing but GOd is everything. I can relate and trying to please others and get people to like us is so draining. I rather want to stay focus on GOD and know that my actions are pleasing to him. Besize HE IS THE BEST FRIEND ANYONE CAN HAVE IN THE WORLD!.