Stepping Stones: Who Do You Fear?

Stepping Stones: Who Do You Fear?
December 12, 2009 Lighthouse Network

Transformational Tip
Share your cookie…say nice things…let your friend go first…let’s not keep score to promote sportsmanship. The Golden Rule – Love your neighbor as yourself. We all learned, or were at least lectured, about the importance of being nice to others. Pleasing people can be quite rewarding…not pleasing people can bring a lot of downside. One key is, “what motivates me to please people?”

I just recently came to the realization of just how much of my life is controlled and hampered by fear of people. This condition has been so prevalent in my life that I failed to recognize it most of my life…I just accepted it as part of my daily existence. My fear does not come from thinking they will hurt me or do me harm, my fear comes from the possibility of displeasing them and therefore not getting what I need (or think I need) from them.

Today, stop and think about how much of your life is hampered by fear of people. Then try this two-pronged approach for dealing with this crippling fear. First, replace your fear of displeasing people with the dread of displeasing the Lord of your universe. Secondly, develop a deeper trust in God. Instead of trying to please people so they will give you what you want, trust in Him – the Supplier of all your needs. Click here to share with the Stepping Stones community your thoughts on who you fear and why.

O God, The fear of displeasing people is so deeply engrained in my mind. I am too concerned about displeasing them or looking foolish in their eyes. I confess, Father, that I am a people pleaser, but I deeply desire to change this. Help me to worry more about displeasing You. Help me, Father, to trust You more…to trust that I will get everything I need from You…not other people. I pray in the name of the ultimate pleaser of the world, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children said – AMEN!

The Truth
The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.
Proverbs 29:25
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1,2

Comments (3)

  1. James 15 years ago

    "First, replace your fear of displeasing people with the dread of displeasing the Lord of your universe."
    Replace it with yet a worse fear? I don't think so. "Dread" is a horrible word to use. God's love is unconditional — far better simply to accept that in joy rather than walking around in dread. Dread = fear = false evidence appearing real. Walk in joy in the certainty God loves us whether we sin or not. Clearly, it's better to choose not to sin when we know we have a choice.

    "Secondly, develop a deeper trust in God. Instead of trying to please people so they will give you what you want, trust in Him – the Supplier of all your needs." Absolutely — yes! Seeing oneself through the perceived eyes of others is not only fiction, but dangerous — affecting self-esteem in a negative way.

  2. Anonymous 15 years ago

    The problem with having the fear of displeasing others is that our focus is not on the supplier of all our needs but on the approval of others. Security felt by others' approval is dangerous– man's terms for acceptance often changes and leads down un-Godly paths whereas the Lord's love for us is everlasting, unchanging and leads to abundant life. There is no freedom in this conflicted state, only misery, confusion, and loss of one's identity and purpose in Christ as they strive in different ways to be loved and accepted.

  3. Anonymous 15 years ago

    I immediately thought back to my salvation. I first heard the gospel on a street corner in the Oaklyn section of Pittsburgh near main campus. These three people asked my fellow nursing student and myself if we knew where we were going when we die; we both thought we were going to heaven because we do good things for people. Then the young man showed me Ephesians 2: 8-9, where we cannot be saved by works, lest any man should boasts but how we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. This young man also told me You must be born again. I had never heard that in my entire 19 years of living and I asked where the Bible says that and I also asked how can that be? I was the chief arguer, telling these evangelists that they should be volunteering in a nursing home, and not bothering people. When my friend Carol and I left their presence I remarked that they must have been high on something. Two days later I met a young man home on break from Liberty Bible College; He was more soft spoken; he became my friend and shared the bible with me over the next year until one Sunday I showed up at his house and asked if I could go to evening worship with him. All I knew is I wanted what he had and I realized by God's grace, that he was telling me truth; That night May 1, 1977, a deacon asked me if I was born again. I said I didn't know but I wanted to be born again. He prayed with me and gave me a bible then during the service I publicly gave my life to Christ. I was free at last. I didn't care what anyone thought, I wanted more of Him. I went home that night and called my mother long distance, then I told my roommate, and my friends, and my teachers, anyone who would listen. It was as if every word of God I had heard came back to me with such boldness. I realized that the previous year I told my friend Joe, Okay I believe but stop talking about it all the time. He showed me Romans 1:12 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of salvation to everyone who believes… I saw that my whole life was consumed with fear of man, and now my freedom was in Christ. While I went on to become involved in the ministry of the gospel, hard times came and went and I see it can be so easy to turn back to the wrong evaluation of ourselves because we look to others want to be liked and pleasing. Ultimately I can live free and boldly if I keep giving my mind and heart to God daily. Lighthouse Ministry is helping me.

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