Are you afraid of what other people think? Are you more concerned about what others think of you then, well, what you yourself believe is right? I came across a helpful Proverb in the Bible: “The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” (Proverbs 29:25)
See if you have these common symptoms of the “fear of man” (and the “fear of women!”):
Common Symptoms of the “Fear of Man”
— you think more about what friends think than what God thinks
— you spend more time in front of the mirror than in devotional time with God
— you are unwilling to take a stand for truth for fear of “offending” others
— you know the right thing to do, but you are putting it off
— you have different sets of moral standards based on who you are with
— you spend money you don’t have to “keep up” with the tastes of others
— you are unwilling to obey God because you are afraid of someone’s reaction.
— you think more about your image than about your spiritual life
— if you do good, you make sure to let people know about it
— if you mess up, you hide it rather than confessing your wrongdoing
— you rarely or never ask for forgiveness
— you put up a “happy” front to impress people, even when your life is going bad
— you try to hide your problems, even from the people who could really help you
Fearing the opinions of others is the ultimate snare, a terrible trap. It will cause you to compromise what really matters for the sake of that which does not matter at all. Even worse, it is a no-win situation; you’ll never please everyone, and trying to do so will only waste the life you’ve been given.
Rather than worry about what other people think, put your trust in God, as the Proverb suggests. Therein lies the path to a truly meaningful life.
What to do: Be honest about any “fear of man” lurking in your motivations, and ask God for His honest opinion of you. Wait in silence for the answer, then read 1 Peter 1 in your Bible.