April 6 – Fear – Fear of Man

Read Proverbs 3:5-6 and 29:25

“The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.”

A “snare” is a trap hunters and fishermen use to catch animals, birds or fish. A snare is dangerous. If we get caught in a snare, we must do whatever it takes to escape.

The fear of man can be a snare in our relationships. This can happen through fear of failure or rejection. It can be such a strong fear that we may be living to please others rather than God.

This fear of man may be a force in our lives through the idea of what others will think or do. It may lead to withdrawal, if a person comes to the realization that they can never measure up. This fear can convince a person that their value is wrapped up in what others think!

The fear of man can bring fear of failure, which provides no room for mistakes. You know – perfection. The pursuit of perfection can prevent a person from making correct choices or to engage in relationships. It can cause insecurity in decisions and a dread of failing. God wants us to trust Him.

“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”. Psalms 9:9

One definition of fear is “apprehension of evil that normally leads one either to fight or run”. You know – fight or flight. Your heart starts to beat really fast and you are ready to fight or flight. Fear is a normal reaction in life! By staying alert spiritually, emotionally and physically, you can focus on God’s plan for your life. Use your spiritual gifts.

Through the 1980’s I was a high school health teacher. I had about 180 sophomore students per day that I would attempt to teach. Many students were curious about the disease called AIDS. It was new with tons of misinformation and titled Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

One morning I nearly had a fistfight in my classroom. One young man claimed that you could get AIDS by spitting on fruit in a supermarket and, when somebody else buys it, they could get the disease. He took on the whole class. The other kids in the class disagreed. At first, I liked the class discussion but then I realized we were going to have a boxing match if I did not calm everybody down. There was no self-control or patience. This young man was fearful of the disease, did not want facts and he wanted to fight. Sound familiar? A few months later the facts came out describing the only three ways that AIDS spreads and after that there were fewer problems. The fear lessened.

The fear of man is a snare.

Keep your eyes on Jesus!

Tom Weckesser

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