Proverbs 29:25 NKJV The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.
(GNB) It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the LORD, you are safe.
(MSG) The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in GOD protects you from that.
“It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you. The fear of human opinion disables.” Those two sentences are both from the first half of Proverbs 29:25 from the Good News Bible and the Message respectively. Boy oh boy do they say a mouthful. If you are constantly afraid about what others think about you and what they opine to others about you when you aren’t around, you’ll never do anything and be trapped in a disabling snare.
The flip side of this is that phrase we’ve heard that goes, “I don’t care what anyone thinks about me.” Usually people say this because they are mad and use it as an excuse to act obnoxious or like a jerk. The ironically funny (or sad) thing is, they are usually mad because they just found out that someone has shared an opinion or view of them that wasn’t appreciated because they do care what others think about them.
Everyone wants to be liked and accepted. Everyone desires to loved and adored by others. We were made in the image of God, who is love (1 John 4:16). Love by its very nature desires reciprocation. Most people deal pretty well when others are indifferent towards them, but when we find out people don’t like us or look down on our perfect decisions we feel hurt. Yikes, can you imagine how the Father God, who is love, must feel when people think His perfect Word is wrong.
It is in our nature to care about how others see us. As a Christian, my influence on the street, in my neighborhood, on the job, in the community and the world is going to be impacted by how others see me and what they think about me. It’s the Love of God for people that we allow to change us and flavor our lives. Too many get angry at the unsaved for not appreciating the message or vehemently disagreeing with God’s Word on the subject of various sins and cuss or call them names. That’s not right. Yet, some allow the fear and concern about what the World will think of them to hide, change, or back off and erode their principles and His Truth and Righteousness.
So what do we do? Live right, stand up and live Godly principles. Walk in love. Live in love. And preach His Word without compromise but in Love. Not everyone liked what Jesus had to say. People cussed Him, beat Him and even killed Him for the Message of God’s Love that He brought them. Yet, no body found anything wrong with Him as a man (Luke 23:4, Luke 23:14-15, Luke 23:41).
Instead of fearing what others think or will think about you. Live life according to the Scripture. Treat others with the same love that Christ has shown you and keep your trust in Him. Don’t back off of the Truth. You can love people even when they disagree. You don’t have to argue or be afraid of what they think. Love God, Love People, Share the Truth, and He will keep you safe.