Thursday, March 28, 2013

Are you addicted to the approval of others? Part II

We're studying Proverbs 29:25:

The fear of man lays a snare, But whoever trusts in the LORD is safe. Prov 29:25 

We looked in detail at the fear of man yesterday, so today we need to keep moving forward and work our way to "trusting in the Lord."

The fear of man, and trusting in the Lord are polar opposites. It's kind of like when we are using a vegetable peeler on carrots....if we keep on scraping down further and further, we will get to the core -- and that is, that the fear of man is a worship issue. We are placing our affection and our trust in man, when we are supposed to place it in our Father. When we live our lives in the light of what others may think of us, we are allowing that to control our lives -- instead of allowing God to control.

At that point what people think of us, their approval or disapproval, their pleasure or displeasure with us, assumes control of our lives and is a snare, or trap for us.  And if we are caught in that trap, we will not be able to be the wise Christians that we are called to be. If we are fearful of what others may think, will we confront sin in the life of a fellow believer? Nope. Will we question their interpretation of a Scripture, even when we have insight from the Spirit? No way. Will we shade the truth so as not to offend others? Yep. So this trap will cause us to sin, and sin, and sin.
The Hebrew word "trust" here means to hide for refuge or to be bold or confident, to have hope. To have such confidence in something that you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you can rely on it. Doesn't that sound like a great description of how our faith makes us rely on God?

The word "safe" here means to be inaccessibly high . . . like a very tall city wall, or a fortress upon a mountain top. If we trust in the Lord, that is the kind of safety and peace that we can experience.
The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You (Psalm 9:9-10). 
The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and trust in Him. And all the upright in heart shall glory (Psalm 64:10) 
The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? The LORD is for me among those who help me; Therefore I shall see my desire on those who hate me. It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in princes. (Psalm 118:6-9)
If we are addicted to the approval of others; if the fear of man has taken control of our lives, then we need to ask our Father to help us.
Jesus died and rose again, to make us fully approved before God the Father. We don't need to continue thinking about others' opinion of us, or even thinking better about ourselves . . . we need to think more about Him, and how to bring Him glory for the great gift He gave us!
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,  (Hebrews 1:3)
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.(Philippians 2:9-10)
Praise the Lord!    

I'm indebted to the site for some of the thoughts in this study. 


Belinda said...

Romans 8:31
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
I need this tattooed on my hand so I see it all day long every day.

CATachresis said...

The Hebrew language is so rich. Thanks for illuminating the texts. Thinking about the words and the context gives us a much fuller understanding. It is so true that our complete acceptance of what Jesus did for us should make us more determined to want to please Him rather than man. x

Lisa said...

This is hard for some of us who, for whatever reasons, tend to be more on the 'people-pleaser' side of the fence. Thank you for reminding us to always trust in the LORD and seek His will for our life.