Have you ever noticed how many times the Bible tells us to fear not? Although it says in the movie Facing the Giants that the Bible says it 365 times, there is actually just over one hundred times. More important than the number of times however, is who we are and who we are not supposed to fear. Every time the Bible says to “fear not”, we are not to fear other people and every time it says to fear, we are to fear God. As we read this, we think that God is an ogre that wants to ruin our fun and wants us to be scared of him, but when we read and understand what it means to fear, we understand that what the Bible is saying is that we should respect God’s desires more than we should respect the desires of others.
We often hear someone say “I am afraid of what other people will think”. This is the kind of fear that we are not supposed to have. When we are more concerned with what others think, our concern is misdirected. The idea is not that we are right, but that we are most concerned with being on the side of the one who is always right.
This reminds me of something I heard that Abraham Lincoln supposedly said. During the Civil War, one of his aides asked him if he thought that God was on the North’s side. Lincoln replied. “It is not important to ask whether God is on our side. What matters is that we are on God’s side.”
Having the fear of the Lord brings peace, not torment. The other day, a friend of mine was talking about her divorce and how she had decisions to make concerning decisions about her future. Others had a lot of questions for her and they wanted her to make decisions right away. The more she was concerned about what they thought, the more she would get frustrated and concerned with the situation herself. Finally, she gave all her concerns to the Lord. She discovered that God simply wanted her to trust him. She realized that God not only wants the best for us, but he also sees our futures. If we follow him to do just what we need to do today, he’ll take care of the rest if we rest in him.
How about you? Are you more concerned about what God says or what others say? Do you know God’s peace in your life or have others and what they think is best rule over your life?
Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener
She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.
A little over eight years ago I stopped worrying about the opinions of others. I’ve got my hands full just being the best person I can be. I have no time for the judgments of others. 🙂
Yep, being less concerned with what others think certainly does bring peace!