Shyness – insecurity – peer pressure – fear of man…unpacked
There are several universal and common problems all of us are challenged to overcome. One of the most common problems we have is what the Bible calls fear of man. This biblical term is typically more recognizable by such labels as…
- Peer pressure
In Proverbs you see the most descriptive definition of this condition:
The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe. – Proverbs 29:25 (ESV)
Like many of the Proverbs, this one is laid out in a parallel format.
There are two lines, one stacked on top of the other, the first being the negative or the problem, and the second being the positive or the solution. Here is what they would look like if they were stacked up:
- The fear of man lays a snare,
- but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.
If you were to sketch them out, it could look something like this:
Snare or safe?
In this diagram you see your starting point is fear. When this is true, then there is only one end result–a snare. Though your goal may be to be safe, you cannot get there from a heart of fear. Fear always leads to a snare.
If your hope or desire is to be safe and secure, then you have to deal with the heart of the problem first, which is your fear. Within the human heart there is always a tension between fear and faith. When fear wins out, the person will struggle with various manifestations of insecurity.
The insecure person wants to be safe, but she is held back by her fear. In order for her to be free she has to work on her fear issues first. Once she is securely established in faith or at least generally characterized by faith, then she will be heading in the right direction.
I say, “generally characterized by faith” because none of us live perfectly in faith. We oscillate back and forth. Even so, we should be mostly characterized as men and women of faith. If we are not, then our general disposition will be fear.
The two people components in the sketch above are people (man) and the Lord. When sinful fear is in play in the heart,