There are so many things in this life that we fear. Some of us fear death, some of us fear heights, and the list could go on and on. You name it and chances are someone somewhere is afraid of it. I think as teenagers once of the biggest things we often fear is people. Yes, maybe when you see people you don’t run the other direction screaming, but there is a sense that we take great stake in what people think about us, on whether or not our friends will like us or whether we will be accepted and be in the “in-crowd”. We try to impress each other as if their opinion of us is the only thing that gives us our worth.  If they don’t like us, we are devastated, however if they do like us we are elated. This isn’t something that just teenagers struggle with but I have found myself and I know of other adults who focus way too much on what people think.

It is often said from statistics that people fear public speaking more than death. Why do we fear speaking in public? Because we care about what people are thinking about us and questions go through our minds like what if we look “stupid”, what if I say the wrong thing, what if I make a fool of myself, ect. There is no doubt that the fear of people is a huge fear for both young and old.  But do you fear what other people will think more than you fear what God thinks about a particular situation?

I want to talk to you about two definitions of fear. The first one is the sense I was speaking of earlier which is the fear that leads to anxiety and apprehension while in a certain situation. The second kind of fear I want to talk about is the fear that is defined by a deep respect for someone or something. You see fear in the first sense makes us run away from someone, the second kind of fear makes us run toward someone.

What will it take for us to fear God so much that we want to please Him in everything we say and do instead of fearing people and fearing what they might think? So that’s my challenge to both you and me as well. We need to be so concerned about what God thinks about our actions and who we are so that there is no room for fearing what others might think or say about us. Below are some verses about fearing the Lord more than fearing others.

I encourage you to really memorize this one and make it your prayer.

Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth;

give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name.

–Psalm 86:11

Here are a few others:

Psalm 147:10-11: His pleasure is not in the strength of a horse, or His delight in the legs of a man; the Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.

Proverbs 19:23: The fear of the Lord leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

Proverbs 29:25: Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.

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