July 5, 2020 by Kgalalelo
I have been meaning to write a blog on the subject of fearing people for a very long time out of observation of what is happening in the world and around me. Someone once said that the greatest fear in life is the fear of death, true, the majority of us are afraid of dying more so the death of a loved one.
Those who have gone through this process of losing a loved one understands the pain, it is unbearable. Most of us feel like we would never get through it but by the grace of God, He comforts us and makes every day living easier. It doesn’t mean that we forget about the ones we love but the sting of pain is lessened that we may enjoy life again and move on.
Sometimes we miss those who have departed and shed a tear but then after a while, when we focus on something else, things get better and we see the sun again. Next to the fear of death I would say it is the fear of people. Most of us are in bondage of others. We always feel self-conscious around others, doubt ourselves, including our knowledge and abilities. We fear embarrassing ourselves when we try to speak up around others or in public.
How many children have been told that they are not good enough or won’t amount to anything by their teachers or those meant to protect and nurture them? The internet, television and books are full of similar stories around the world and how many children have been laughed at when they tried to answer in class? Many everywhere and they have been afraid to speak up ever since.
The Bible says that we should never fear man but fear God who can throw both soul and body in hell (Matthew 10:28). He can destroy both but man can only affect your sense of confidence. A lack of confidence is attributable to the fear of people. We lack confidence to stand up and speak or do things that we want to do because someone else is listening carefully or watching and the comment might not be favourable to us.
We are afraid that we might be questioned and won’t know how to respond or perhaps even be cornered. We are afraid that we might get challenged when we do give a response and find ourselves wanting.
I look at our politicians and professionals as they get challenged with difficult questions in parliament or at the workplace and even at institutions of higher learning and some unable to articulate their responses clearly. They are ridiculed and laughed at and no matter how tough you think you are, there are things that may affect your confidence, either long or short-term. You find those in life who think that they know everything or can do or say it better.
I heard a pastor preach once at a funeral and said how he knows that those in the audience would probably think that they could preach better than him. He was burying five people on the same day and the church was quite full. I understood immediately what he was implying. So, even in ministry, you find elements of criticism and conceited people.
We never reach our full potential because we are afraid. We are afraid of being seen, heard or judged by others. God never judges His children but rather cheers us on. If God was the only one in the audience, I believe that we wouldn’t squirm. Our primary focus is always on who is around us instead of who is in us.
We never succeed not because we don’t know but because we are worried about who is listening, watching and judging. We are afraid of what others would say when we finally make an attempt at something.
When I look around, most of the people who judge are those who never attempt anything in life. They do nothing the whole day and have nothing except their comments. These are people who are sitting on the stand awaiting others to make mistakes.
This kind of behaviour is everywhere; you switch on the television and it’s on the next movie that you watch, that is, what we do and what we shouldn’t do or what we should have done. The media is full of such people. Even if you say the right thing, someone will find a way to put you down. We are never good enough to some people.
It is a tough world out there but will you not try because you are afraid? It means that you will never live the kind of life you were meant to live. Jesus says in John 10:10, “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”. The Bible says further in Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”.
We have to put on the full armour of God that we may stand against the devil’s plots (Ephesians 6:11). What would your greatest regret be when you come to the end of your life? You need to think about this often.
Most of us are afraid of failure but it is in our failures that we grow. Many have failed in more than one thing and they are still keeping on and learning from their mistakes. Self-pity doesn’t help much but we need to get up and try again. Life is challenging in general but we cannot fail to act or do stuff just because we are afraid.
People often remember the things that you said ten years ago, true, perhaps that’s why we are afraid, they joke about it with friends and mock. We are afraid because we have emotions and we don’t want those emotions to be hurt. We don’t want to walk around and feel like people are staring at us and gossiping.
I often sit and wonder where this massive fear of people came from, for the Bible says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). On the other hand, it says in Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Our fallen nature is keeping us from enjoying the fullness of life but God’s grace is sufficient for us, that’s all that we need to navigate through life. When we are weak, He is strong.
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
Consider the number of times that God has rescued you from the claws of the enemy, it’s countless times, therefore, when we ask for what we need, the strength we require to approach or stand in front of people and do things for ourselves, God is faithful and will come through for us, always.
Footnote: Scriptures taken from the The Holy Bible, New King James Version, 1982: Nashville, TN, Thomas Nelson, Inc. & The ESV Global Study Bible®, ESV® Bible, Copyright © 2012 by Crossway. All rights reserved & The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™ (2004). Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Wheaton, Ill: Tyndale House Publishers. The Holy Bible, Berean Study Bible, BSB Copyright ©2016, 2018 by Bible Hub Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2016 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.
Kgalalelo Saane Mphephuka
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