Read: Proverbs 29
Key Verses: Proverbs 29:25. “Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.”
Devotional: As adults we like to act like we no longer struggle with the same things we struggled with when we were teenagers. We assume that as our acne and reliance on parents faded that our insecurities and fears did as well. We’ve heard the adage that with age comes wisdom and we falsely assume that our fears and insecurities will somehow fade into the background with each passing year. But let’s be honest, sometimes, perhaps more than sometimes we struggle with fearing things. Even as adults we live with fears that from the outside looking in don’t make any sense but yet they represent very real struggles in our daily lives.
We know as rationale adults that it doesn’t really matter what anyone thinks of us yet if we’re honest we’ll admit that sometimes we make decisions based on what other people will or won’t think about us, our families and our careers. Proverbs tells us that when we fear other people that it’s a dangerous trap.
It traps us into valuing what they think over what God thinks. As we feel God’s leading us into a new arena of life, as we feel God challenging us to stop this or start that, fear causes us to scale back our efforts and enthusiasm to match the expectations of those around us. In the end there are only two sources of authority in our lives: God and man. To use a driving analogy, any time we veer even slightly out of the lane that God has us in or lessen the speed that God has us traveling because of fear, we are yielding to man’s authority in our lives. We are in essence saying that we value another person’s opinion of us over God’s desire for our lives.
In addition, when we fear people it traps us into our “less than best”. You and I were created to do epic things for the cause of Jesus Christ. When we fear others it allows them to dictate what our best looks like. I’m sure this comes as no surprise to any of you but I would gladly take God’s best for my life over yours or anyone else’s best any day. When we fear what others think we tend to settle for what they view as acceptable regardless of how close or far away that is from where God desires us to be. Why would we settle for anything less than God's best for our lives?
On the flip side of all of this fear is a world of safety rooted in our trust in God. Trusting in God allows us to stay in the lane God desires for us and keep the pace He requires without fear of what others think. As our relationship and trust in Christ deepens our concern for the value that others place on our lives fades into the distance.
As we progress towards greater trust in God we come to fully realize that our best is really unlimited. It’s unlimited because God Himself is unlimited. We can find safety in God even as we pursue what sound like crazy goals and dreams. The safety that God provides frees us to chase after all that He has for us.
Take Action: Have you ever considered that you may value what others think over what God thinks? What do you think God may be calling you to that you have shied away from out of the fear of what others may think? Spend some time praying and asking God for the safety that only He can provide as you chase down all that He has for you.
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