“The fear of man bringeth a snare (trap)” (Prov. 29:25).
Below you will find a list of questions that will help you assess your “fear of man” quotient. Ask God to speak to you as you ponder and answer these questions honestly.
- Are you obsessed with the approval of others?
- Do you overstate your views in order to gain favor with men?
- Do you understate your positions in order to gain the approval of others?
- Are you afraid to confront sin because of possible negative outcomes?
- Are you silent in opportunities to speak up for a just cause?
- Does your audience dictate the slant that you take on an issue?
- Do you tolerate malicious slander by letting it slide because you are afraid of the consequences if you speak out?
- Do you say negative, or harmful, things about people because you know the people you are speaking to hold those negative opinions?
- Are you more concerned about what fallible men think of you than what Almighty God thinks about you?
- Do you feel a knot in your stomach every time someone disagrees with you?
- Is your appreciation of people based upon their approval of you?
- Are you in bondage to the expectations of your friends? Your “network”? Your alma mater?
- Does your dread of “being found out” keep you from confessing your sins to a trusted friend who could help you?
- Are you more fearful of what you stand to lose by telling the truth, or the loss of your self-respect that comes by telling a lie?
- Do you find it difficult to be corrected?
- Are you devastated by rejection?
- Are you afraid to discipline your children properly because you have an inordinate desire for their approval?
- Do you discipline your children severely because of the way that they make you look in the eyes of your peers?
- Do you overlook mis-statements of truth and exaggerations because you are afraid of conflict?
- Do you repeat unkind, unnecessary, and untrue things about others to curry favor with the people you are associating with?
- Does your insecurity lead you to criticize others?
- Do you have to have the “last word” even when your opinion is unrequested?
- Is it okay with you if your friends ostracize you because you choose to honor God?
- Do you find it acceptable it if people don’t like you, but God does?
- Have you ever felt a strong prompting to witness to someone, but found yourself bound by fear of potential denunciation?
- Are you obsessed with having the right clothes, the right hair, the right music, the right car, or the right house?
- Are you forever chasing fads because you want to be “with it”?
- What is more important to you, your “social image” or your identity in Christ?
- When you see a friend wandering off into moral chaos, are you reluctant to speak out for fear of being scorned?
- Do you lie to protect your image, position, or status?
- Are you easily embarrassed?
- Are you intimated by people that have stronger convictions than you?
- Are you critical of people who have less stringent convictions than you?
- Whose reputation is more important: yours or God’s?
The “Fear of God” is the only antidote for the fear of man. “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Ps. 27:1). James Foster exhorts, “Cultivate a supreme reverence for God. These two—fear of man and fear of God—are absolutely inconsistent, and cannot subsist together.”
“The Fear of Man”—Blog Article by Harold Vaughan
“The Fear of Man”—Video Message by Del Fehsenfeld