Our idol of choice?
“They love the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.” -John 12:43
The fear of Man: the controlling concern about what others think of us; desire for human approval or fear of rejection; desire to be respected, esteemed, admired, loved, included, invited in, with the accompanying fear of being overlooked, mistreated, neglected, ignored, disrespected, excluded, or victimized. These are legitimate desires and fears. They keep us from sinful and destructive behaviors. When the desires go unmet or the fears are actualized, there is pain woundedness, and sorrow. When desires are met and fears are escaped, there is happiness and a sense of pleasure and safety. The problem is when these natural and legitimate desires become inordinate or excessive and controlling. We become consumed about what people think about us, having an excessive fixation on people’s opinions. We feel we need the approval of someone or anyone, and we fear their rejection. We begin to define ourselves by how others are responding to us or how we preceive their perception of us.
We use people to heal us, to validate us, to restore our glory, and to save us. But people are broken and if you look to broken people to sure up your sense of self or for the restoration of your glory you are asking glory deficient people to satisfy you with the very things that you lack. This is futility and will crush others and leave us empty.
How do we escape this fear and futility?
The Answer: There is a glory and an honor and approval and acceptance that is GREATER than that of people. It is the glory that comes from God.
He bestows glory on you, a claim on you, accommodation upon you, and approval upon you.
There is a glory hunger inside of us and we will either go to glory deficient people cannot satisfy us OR we will have to look to the God of the universe. He gives this to us in the Gospel. The only commendable one (Jesus) becomes condemned so that the condemned ones (us) can become commendable. All that we are is laid upon him so that all that he is can be imputed to us! When this happens, the God of the universe hands a verdict to us that says, “WITH YOU I AM WELL PLEASED.”
The deepest awareness of yourself is that you are accepted by God & when this settles in, it will displace all other definitions you have been trying to achieve or escape.
And when we are liberated from the incessant need to be accepted by people because we have been accepted by the Ultimate person, we will be willingly governed by a ruling desire to love and honor the Father. Now we are able to focus on loving people instead of using people as fig leaves to cover up our shame and give us worth.
“Freedom from the Fear of Man” by JR Vassar.