Fear of Man

All fear objects are subcategories of the three major fear objects, namely; death, people and Satan. Behind the fear of snakes, sharks, and enclosed places, etc. is the fear of death. God has eliminated physical death as a fear object, because it is no longer potent. Should we die physically tomorrow we would still be spiritually alive. We would be absent from the body and present with the Lord. The ultimate value is not our physical life, but rather our spiritual life, which is eternal. With that in mind, consider these words from our Lord, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:28).

I said earlier that fear is a powerful motivator and devious people use that to manipulate others. Suppose you have a very intimidating boss. You are not afraid of him as you read this, however, because he isn’t present. Only when he is present or potentially present do you fear him. Taking a break in the lunch room can function like a sanctuary for you, because you are away from his presence. Fear is diminished when he is not present, so you can manage your fear by staying away, but you can’t do that forever. What power does he have over you is the most important question.

Some bosses can threaten physical harm, or can be physically imposing, but that is less common in our modern world. The potential of being fired, demoted, or humiliated is the bigger threat. How could we overcome that? We start by realizing who we are in Christ, and by knowing that no person can keep us from being the person God created us to be. The only power others have over us is what we give them. Not allowing others to determine who we are, nor letting their intimidations compromise how we live, while staying submissive to governing authorities is one of our greatest challenges. “Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right than for doing what is wrong” (1 Pet. 3:13-17).

Dr. Neil

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