Luke 12:4-5 – “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” NKJV
I used to hear a saying: “They can kill me, but they can’t eat me” and thought, Yes, they can! It is not an image I care to allow in my consciousness, but cannibalism is still a 21st-century reality. But the FEAR OF MAN has such a paralyzing effect on many people from the White House to the Doghouse and everything in between. People are petrified of people if not physically emotionally and socially. The perception of others holds such sway on many lives they live in actionable paralysis and live miserably in fear.
Jesus addressed this here warning against the fear of man. He phrased it beautifully saying, in essence, “if they kill you that’s all they can do”. His message was plainly that man is not the one to be feared for man can only do you physical harm and since we know that death is not the end we need not fear. He speaks of whom we should fear (albeit reverentially). We are to fear the one who after having killed us has the power to cast us into hell. We should fear God! I am not suggesting a tormenting fear unless we are in rebellion against God for in that state, we should fear Him in trembling.
It is always good to be concerned about what people think so as not to become calloused and hard. However, we should never allow man’s perception to dictate our life’s path. It is never good to allow the desire to please men to dictate our stance, actions, or words. Then we are allowing them to ‘kill us’ spiritually and emotionally.
In life, our desire should be to please God and obey Him. We should not make, “I just tell it like it is” a justification for meanness, rudeness, insensitivity, or harshness. It is one thing, to be honest, and another to be calloused. Fearing man should never enter into the equation of our standing for God and right and Fearing God should always cause us to ‘speak the truth in love’ and with the ‘heart of God.’
If you are facing situations or dealing with people and find yourself fearful of the outcome or the result of people’s perceptions, then I desire to pray for your deliverance. “Father, I ask that you set my friends free of the fear of man and grant them the liberty to follow Your directives with peace and confidence.”
May the Lord be with you as you go through your day!