One of my greatest struggles has been the “fear of man“.
I like to get approval. I like to know that people like what I do. I suppose that’s only normal, to a point. The real problem with this is when it swings against you – when fear of disapproval, becomes a paralysing force, putting me into a tail spin while trying to claw my way back (if you’ll excuse the mixed metaphor) to a place of comfortable people-pleasing.
The Lord showed me what Peter said in his first letter (1 Peter 1:18). It is not with silver and gold that you have been bought, but with the precious blood of Christ. This means that no matter who they are (or think they are), no one has a choke-hold on me and no one can determine my worth. Only God can do that. I do not live and work for myself, but for God Himself. My family, ministry and career are His calling on my life, according to the good works he created me to do. And with His enabling I will be able to carry out those works to His glory, no matter what they are and no matter what anyone else thinks of me.
It is when I take my eyes off of Him, and begin, subtly at first, to work for the approval of man, that I move into the crisis of self-confidence.
We are those that work not for silver and gold, not for position and power and possessions, but for the Lord himself, doing what He has created us to do.