Thursday, October 12, 2006

Are you afraid of what people think?

This article results from hearing so many people saying how much they cared about the Lord, but acting like they cared so much about what everyone else thought.

The fear of man is caring so much about what others may think, say, or do, that it keeps you from living up to your true convictions. It's wanting others to think better of you than you really are. The outward appearance is one of the most important things to someone who fears the opinions of others. Your car, your clothes, your house, your hair, your make-up, your music—everything has got to be "in." A person who is afraid of what others think is almost always pleasant to be around—they're everyone's friend. They're full of compliments, too, because they know how much every- one likes compliments. But if they see a friend becoming hard in their heart and walking into darkness, the "man pleaser" won't utter a word of warning, for fear that he himself might be rejected. He never corrects or rebukes—that is, unless others would really approve of it.

Man pleasers are easily embarrassed. They are embarrassed if they stutter, if they strike out at bat, if they slip on a stair, if they bum the waffles, if they do anything that others might not like. They are even embarrassed when they don't make a mistake, because someone might think they did. "Are you sure?".....they feel embarrassed even though they're telling the truth.

Those who fear men must lie all the time to keep up their image. They are constant hare, although they might not call it "lying"—just "bending the truth a little." We exaggerate our abilities, our accomplishments, our values of righteousness and holiness ("I'd never do that!"), and minimize our sins, our failures—all for the sake of our image. Why lie? Because for the moment (and I can't emphasize that enough) it makes us look good in the eyes of others. Men pleasers are absolutely faithless and untrustworthy because they are so easily manipulated.

Those who are concerned with how others view them can also do many "Christ-like" things—but all for the wrong reasons. Would you go to a prayer meeting if no one knew you went? Do you get more joy out of another Christian "discovering" you reading your Bible than actually reading the Bible itself? At church these people seem to know just the right Scripture at just the right time, and have that "firm" handshake. But when they're away from the Christian atmosphere, away from people who know who they are, then what are they like? Man please
rs will find themselves slipping into sin quite easily when there's no one around to see them.

Man pleasers will sometimes act like they don't care what others think at all, and be the "super bold witness"—that is, when there are other Christians around to see them. They are afraid that people might think they're afraid
of what people might think. We fail to see that when you put up any kind of "front" whatever it is, and others accept it, they still haven't accepted you, because they haven't met you. They've only accepted the card-board image of what you wish you were.

Ironically, those people whose ultimate goal is to please everyone in every way they can think of are, in the end, rejected by both man and God. Both Pilate and Herod bent their knees to the wishes of the people and everyone liked it at the time. They wanted honor, but instead they became lasting examples of dishonor. Have you ever heard of a kid named "Herod" or "Pilate"?

The Lord is looking for men and women who have set aside the cares and worries of what everybody else is thinking, and have their hearts set on serving and pleasing Him. When you give God the honor He deserves, you will find Him to be a closer and better Friend than you have ever imagined.

Are YOU living to please man or God???

-Martin Bennett