Shunning the Fear of Man

“but whoever listens to me (Wisdom) will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

Proverbs 1:33 (NIV)

Have you ever been seized with fear of rejection so strongly that you wanted to change your plans because of what you thought could happen?

I have.

In fact, I’ve recently been struggling with those feelings of fear of rejection — being left out amidst a group, feeling all alone and wondering what to do if this dreaded situation materialized — because of an upcoming event my daughter and I will be attending. My mind tells me, “Just cancel. Don’t put yourself through the anxiety. Avoid the humiliation and hurt.” But Wisdom tells me, “Trust God. He knows best, and that’s why you signed up for this event. This is an opportunity to meet people and grow closer to God.”

When this fear of rejection had overwhelmed me most, I began praying for God to speak to me. And, he gave me these three verses:

Proverbs 1:33, Proverbs 29:25 and Isaiah 41:10. That’s all I needed to hear to dry my tears, calm my heart and become excited about attending this upcoming event.

Proverbs 1:33 reminded me that when I listen to Wisdom, I do not have to fear harm. Wisdom (God’s Word applied to my life) has always worked in the past, so why should it not work now? There is safety in Wisdom. As the saying goes, Wisdom is “tried and true.”

Proverbs 29:25 was a reminder to not fear man, and to remember that just as listening to Wisdom keeps me safe, so does trusting in the Lord: “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.” (NIV) In my case, fearing what man might do was only going to rob me of the blessing of the good that could come from my attendance. We might make new friends for life, learn something new about God and have the time of our lives together as mother and daughter. It would be a shame to miss out on those memories all because of fear of rejection.

And finally, my most comforting word from God is Isaiah 41:10: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (NIV) We are never alone. So, even if my worst fears do come true, I’m not alone. God is always with me.

I’m thankful that the Lord does not abandon us to our fears to shake and cower from uncomfortable situations. Instead, he has given us wisdom through his word to convict, exhort and encourage us to live a life that shuns fear of man and fosters our trust in God.

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