Thursday, July 1

Fear of Man Sets a Trap for Us

The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe. Proverbs 29:25
Outside of a fundamental trust in God himself, any hope in man automatically sets a trap for our own feet! Men may mean well. Or, they may not. But the kind of trust elicited here demands that one be in control of all things, which, clearly no man can be. Logic, therefore, dictates that we place our life hope in the hands of the One who controls all of life. 

On the practical side of this, we must consider how much effort goes into our gaining the approval of others? We must ask how much we are offended when others speak less well of us than we think we deserve? Also, do we put confidence in others to solve our emotional or personal dilemmas? Do we tend to place overmuch confidence in our jobs instead of in the God who provides all our needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus? (Phil. 4:19) 

Decidedly, we should encourage one another. And holy deference demands that we think little enough about ourselves that, as Lloyd-Jones proffers in the Sermon on the Mount, we are surprised when anyone thinks well of us. And this is not due to our putting ourselves down. It is more out of a complete disregard to ourselves at all. We simply cease to be a blip on the radar of our own estimation. 

Trusting in the LORD frees us from the stifling choke-hold that self-absorption produces in us. No longer are we waylaid by a worry that we will not be perceived in the best light. Our eyes will look only to Christ. And you ask, "Come on, is that actually possible, that we would not think about ourselves?" Yes. "Fixing your eyes upon Jesus" (Heb. 12:2) suggests such a preoccupation, doesn't it? And what a blessed occupation. They will hardly find Christ so satisfying who busy themselves trying to look away from themselves. They delight in God most who focus intently on Him for so long that after a while, they find they haven't even thought about themselves. In fact, this becomes their habit, a blessed and safe one at that.

"Whoever trusts in the LORD is safe." Amen!

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