This blog post is a recap of Kimberly Jones session of the Women’s Conference at Vintage 21, entitled “Who am I, Really”. This session mostly discussed a fear I had never taken the time to consider in my life, the fear of man.
“Fear of Man” = What WE See
Kimberly started her session by showing a skirt that she wore one day and had to take off before the day was over because she felt all eyes on her. The skirt length and modesty wasn’t the issue, but that it revealed something about her, her own “fear of man”. Kimberly said that the “fear of man” can simply be defined as being consumed with what people think. Even her desire to not be noticed was wrapped up in the fear that she’d somehow lose respect from others. How do we see “fear of man” play out? We see it commonly manifest itself in two attributes:
- People Pleaser: Often when you want to please others, or even yourself. When you desire to be free from conflict, and when you second guess personal decisions based on other’s opinions.
- Self-Promoting: Often found when you protect or slip in self promotion to avoid judgement from others. Can also be found in comparison, where instead of others judging us we actually judge ourselves against others or ourselves.
It’s tempting to look at one of these and identify that you are a people pleaser or a self-promoter. However, Kimberly pointed out that we often see both in our lives. For example, in our efforts to please people, we often self-promote to avoid the fear of judgement.
What GOD Sees
Luckily, what we see through our own fear of man is a distorted view of reality. To see what is accurate about ourselves, we must set our minds on how God sees us, and we must rest on who he is. We must start by knowing the following:
- Know that Gods sees you. It’s important to realize that God sees you and seeks you personally. When Hagar in Genesis 16:13 was sought by God in the desert she said, “You are the God who sees me, I have now seen the One who sees me.”
- Know who God is. To know who we are, we have to know who God is. We must run to Scripture to tell us who he is. Romans 8:37-38 tells us nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God. That tells us a lot about who God is and even who we are.
- Know who you are with Jesus. If nothing can separate us from the love of God, imagine how much we are loved! Scripture tells us we are adopted sons and daughters of the most high God.
- Know who you are worshipping. We love, trust, and obey our idols. Lets take a look at this and determine the object of our worship. What is at the root of how we make decisions?
- Repentance: We must go to God in prayer. Are we making people our idols and making God small? Are we seeking our own glory through the praise and approval of others? Are we more consumed with how others are loving us than how we are loving others? We must consider these things and give them over to God.
- Turn to the Fear of the Lord, Abide in Him: In order to fear God more than man, we must spend time praying and reading who God is. As much as we know our sin, we should also know God’s mercy and love.
- Bank on God’s Power: If we feel powerless in this sin, we aren’t recognizing the power of God. I love how Kimberly noted that “The impossible is God’s starting point”. Just imagine how exciting and freeing it would be to follow Jesus with this mentality.