Wednesday, February 04, 2015

The Spice of Life: Thoughts on The Fear of Man

It keeps us in the dark, limits our enjoyment of life, lies to us, seeks to destroy our souls, causes us to live only for the approval of others, causes us to be afraid to try new things for fear of criticism.  It is sin; specifically, it is the sin of fearing man.  Are you terrified of meeting with others' disapproval?  Are you afraid to try something you've always wanted to for fear that others may laugh at you?  On the other, equally sinful, hand, are you the one laughing at others?  Do you discourage those who go for it and pursue their goals, ambitions, dreams?  Do you require perfection from yourself and/or others?  Do you view failure as a learning opportunity, or a concrete barricade that forces you to retreat?  The fear of man is quiet.  The fear of man keeps you in a rut, imprisoning you in your comfort zone.  The fear of man never puts itself out there, even when it has something beneficial to offer.  The fear of man will tell you that you shouldn't try something unless you know you can do it; and you never know what you can do until you try, so you end up never trying anything new.  If variety-trying new things-is the spice of life, the fear of man leaves you with a bland and tasteless life.  More importantly, the fear of man goes hand-in-hand with a lack of trust in God.  God made you and gave you gifts and talents.  Hiding your gifts in shame and fear is equal to being ashamed of the One who gave you those gifts.  Hiding your gifts (or encouraging others to do just that) betrays not only a fear of man and a lack of trust in God, but also selfishness.  God gave us each gifts to build up, encourage, and edify the whole church-not just to hoard them up for ourselves.  Use your gifts for the benefit of the Body, and encourage and applaud those who already do that.  I am extremely grateful for those who use their gifts to build up the Body of Christ.  They glorify God by using their gifts, and they are to be greatly admired.  Do you encourage others who go out on a limb and try something new, or are you a nabobbing naysayer of negativity?  Are you afraid to leave your comfort zone, or are you willing to let God use you as He chooses?  Do you trust God enough to take a risk?

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