Choosing Reverence Over People’s Approval

“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” – Matthew 10:28 

As followers of Christ, we face a fundamental choice: whom will we fear more—God or other people? It’s a decision that shapes our actions, our attitudes, and ultimately, our lives. And sooner or later, we’ll all have to confront this choice head-on. 

Let’s be honest with ourselves. Many of us struggle with the fear of people. We fear their judgment, their rejection, and their power over us. But why do we fear people so deeply? Author Ed Welch provides insight into this question, highlighting three primary reasons: 

  1. People can expose and humiliate us.
  2. People can reject, ridicule, or despise us.
  3. People can attack, oppress, or threaten us.

In each of these scenarios, our fear stems from seeing people as “bigger” than God—more powerful, more significant. And when we succumb to this fear, we relinquish our autonomy and allow others to dictate our thoughts, feelings, and actions. 

Yet, throughout Scripture, we encounter a consistent message: do not fear people. In Jeremiah 1:8, the Lord assures us, “Do not be afraid of anyone, for I will be with you to rescue you.” And in Matthew 10:28, Jesus Himself instructs us not to fear those who can harm the body, but to fear God, who holds eternal authority over both body and soul. 

Greg Laurie aptly reminds us, “If you kneel before God, you can stand before any man.” The truth is that people are not bigger than God. He reigns supreme over all creation, and His power far surpasses that of any human being. Therefore, when we fear God above all else, we find the strength and courage to face even the most formidable challenges. 

Choose reverence over people’s approval. Anchor your heart in a deep reverence for God, knowing that in His presence, all other fears fade away. When we fear God, we are free from the tyranny of human opinion and empowered to live boldly for His glory. 

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bible verse

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

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