Where are you feeling the most pressure in your life right now? What concerns are filling your mind? What worries are taking your focus, energy, joy, and possibly even sleep?
Life often presents us with stressful situations where we have to make a difficult decision and live with the consequences. Jesus foretold His friend Peter that just such a scenario was looming and that, under pressure, he would deny the Lord three times (John 13:36-38). Despite knowing the test was coming, Peter failed Jesus denying Him three times (John 18).
Why did Peter fail?
Decisions are made either out of faith in God or fear of man. Comparing and contrasting these options, Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.”
When we fear someone other than God, it means we are worried about what they will think about us, do to us, or say about us. When we fear someone, we forget about God. When we fear someone, someone in front of us blocks out our view of God and we start responding to them instead of the Lord.
Also called people pleasing, everyone at some point struggles with fear of man. For Peter, seeing Jesus being arrested as he watched from a distance brought him fear that he could suffer the same fate. So, when asked by a girl if he knew Jesus, Peter responded out of fear of man rather than faith in God, not once but three times. Conversely, at the same time Jesus was under arrest and being interrogated. With His life on the line, Jesus told the truth about His deity and lived by faith in the Father rather than fear of man. In the same instance at the same place, the responses of Jesus and Peter reveal the difference between decision-making rooted in the fear of God versus the fear of man.
In what area or with what person in your life do you struggle with fear of man?