"Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe"
This morning I heard Lady Gaga's song, "Applause" and found myself singing along. Catchy pop tunes have a tendency to do that to me. I am pretty sure that I missed my calling as member of One Direction.
The song is her singing all about fame and living for the Applause and approval of someone(anyone?). While it is in vogue to mock the shallow lives of pop stars and celebrities, we all do exactly what she is singing about.
We live for approval. From friends, bosses, loved ones, culture, etc. The message we have been taught is that it is important that people like you. And, if that means changing who we are, that just goes with the territory.
I knew a girl who dated 4 different men over the course of 2 years. Each guy was a completely different personality than the ones before. And with each new boyfriend, her personality radically changed. Date a boy into sports and rap, that was what she was into. Start seeing a goofy guy who listens to jazz, amazingly that was her personality too.....all of a sudden. To be completely honest I am not sure who she ever really was.
But, "That's not me", you protest. Really??? Bet it is. Even if it is something small. We all find ourselves prisoners of the fear of not being accepted.
When we begin to fear the opinions of men, we begin to lose ourselves. The person God has made you to be. And, it becomes a snare, a trap, a destructive force that will lead us to one day waking up and wondering what happened to the person we once knew.
Fear of man is rooted deeply in performance and status. It is exhausting. It is works based. We will never reach a moment where we have "done enough" and we can finally relax. Once we have started on that path and allowed it to dictate how we feel and act, it becomes a cycle that keeps repeating itself.
Jesus calls us just as we are. Our value to Him is not based on what we bring to the table, or how we "make" Him feel. We are told that even while we were still His enemies, He died for us! There is never a moment where you can cause Him to regret loving you and choosing you. When we begin to rest in His love for us, fear begins to subside.
When we no longer buy the lie that performance equals our value, the freedom to walk confidently and boldly towards what God has made for you exponentially increases.
Stop living for the applause. You will never get it. Start living in light of the truth that in Christ, you can never be loved more, or, less.
So how about you? What fears of man have been ensnaring you this week? How can trusting in God's love for you give you freedom from that fear?
Actually...this.....you can be afraid of this.....