Is it worse today than it was back then? Do I care about what people think of me more now than I did when I was younger?
Maybe it’s my age, or maybe it’s the age I live in. But what I know for sure is that worrying about what other people think of me is a dangerous trap:
‘Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted’ – Proverbs 29:25 (NLT/ NASB)
People fear is like a sedative. It dulls your senses and takes off your creative edge, because you are continuously sanding back distinct aspects of your personality or turning down the volume on what makes you unique to meet the expectations of those you’re attempting to impress or fit in with.
And when we compare ourselves to how well others are doing, we can be tempted to despise our own progress. We will either slow down and give up, or completely exhaust ourselves in trying to ‘keep up’.
David was a man who loved to have good people around him. But he also had a God-given perspective that freed him from the dangerous trap of people fear:
‘Common people are only a vapor; important people, an illusion. Together on a scale, they weigh less than a vapour’ – Psalm 62:9a (CSB)
Although people were important to him, David realised that their opinions weighed in as nothing when compared to what God thought of him. He concluded that ultimately God alone was his source of both honour and victory:
‘Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him… My victory and honor come from God alone… trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge’ – Psalm 62:5,7a,8 (NLT)
David experienced unprecedented victory and honour during the course of his life. As he poured out his heart before God, he discovered the one true source of all the power and love he needed:
‘God has spoken plainly, and I have heard it many times: Power, O God, belongs to you; unfailing love, O Lord, is yours’ (62:11-12a)
Refuse to lose your edge. Resist the enemies’ assignment to dull your creativity. Spit out the sedative and escape the trap by trusting God instead of fearing people!