I recently began to take greater interest in my physical health. I watched the quantity and quality of the food I ate, and I eliminated drinks with sugar. I felt better after losing some weight, and I realized I also needed to start exercising. I desired to make better use of my gym membership, but I feared lifting in public. I did not want anybody to know how weak I really was. The fear of man was preventing me from going to the gym. I was afraid of the people who could help me most.
Fear of man is beneficial when it motivates us to consider others. We are all grateful when junior high boys finally start wearing deodorant! The fear of man can also be debilitating. It is one reason men find it difficult to do life together. We all have heart issues that would benefit from the attention of another person, but we wonder whether anyone would actually love us if they really knew us.
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens the other (Proverbs 27:17). But one man can only sharpen the other when they come into contact with each other. We must overcome our fear of being known in order to do life together. Otherwise, men will never gain victory over those secret sins that plague our society as well as the church. At some point we have to hate sin at a greater level than we fear man.
I pray God will give you victory over your fears. I pray you will have a few godly friends who will celebrate your victories, mourn your losses, and encourage you in your pursuit of holiness. I pray you will have the courage to seek them out. Look for someone who loves Jesus deeply and spend time with that person. And I pray you will be that kind of friend to others.
James 5:16 – Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.