Do we care what others think of us? It is a dangerous trap! We can be pushed into sin by fearing others. If we let them affect decisions, we will be tempted to compromise. We need to trust in God and His word only, and we will be safe (Proverbs 18:10; Ps 119:128).
Fearing man is the opposite of fearing God. It is worry about pleasing men and obtaining their agreement, friendship, and favor, rather than God’s. We are afraid of their displeasure or rejection, so we do what we can to keep their approval and stay friends. Instead of measuring our life by Scripture, we are concerned about popular opinion.
We often call this fear of man peer pressure. The source of it is our peers – our equals in similar positions in life, the same age group or social set. It is pressure, because the approval they give or withhold forces us to alter our beliefs or actions in order to keep our standing with them. Peer pressure pushes us to live like the world (Rom 12:1-2).
Aaron feared the people in Moses’ absence and made the golden calf (Ex 32:22-24). King Saul lost the kingdom for fearing the people and sparing Agag (I Sam 15:24). Herod feared the people, his wife, and his friends, so he killed John (Mark 6:21-28). Pilate feared the people and his political relationship with Caesar and turned his back on THE TRUTH (John 19:11-16). Peter denied Jesus Christ by fearing others (Matt 26:69-75) and also compromised the gospel (Gal 2:11-13). Jesus warns us that we will have difficulty in believing His truth if we seek glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God. (John 5:43-44). Hence the Lord tells us the “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7).