People Pleasing and the Fear of Man

Category: Questions & Answers
Bible: Isaiah 2:22, Proverbs 29:25

When we are snared by the fear of man, we are no longer trusting in the Lord. We must stop regarding man in whose nostrils is mere breath. We will give an account to God who can kill the soul rather than man who can only kill the body. For the believer, they ultimately want the approval of God more than the approval of man. Rather than seek to be a people pleaser, we are to seek to please and honor God.

The original question:

Can you explore this topic of fear of men? If a believer is free from sin (Rom 6:14), how can one feel so dominated by this particular gripping sin?

As with matters of the soul, a short question is hard to compress everything! I would like to ask you about this deplorable sin of fear of man in general. It takes on many words today, i.e. social anxiety, man-pleasing, seeking glory of this world etc. but strangely is not something talked about much in church.

Some personal context: I recently discovered that my struggle to communicate freely with people without fear for many years is directly proportionate to my desire to seek God above all things (Matt. 6:33), fearing God above men (Jer. 17:5-8) & is just slavery to men!

I hate this sin! Yet in my pleading with God for repentance and looking to Christ, it seems I am only seeking to be cured from such sin (the burden of anxiety) without wanting more of Him. How can this be? I struggle in wondering how can such an odious sin be present in a believer’s life? How is it true repentance if everyday is just a repetitive struggle to turn away from this?

In conclusion, it really is exhausting. Never have I felt so dominated and controlled by any sin as this. It pains me that this is bigger than the God I profess to believe in. Never also have I felt so helpless, like one who does not know Christ. (Yes it makes me question assurance deeply.)

But in all this, thank you for reading this. Also thanks for all the helpful past Q&As, really. I pray this is not a deceitful heart speaking, but a real believer’s struggle under God’s sanctifying work to His glory. Thank you.