Whom Shall I Fear?
The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?
~ Psalm 27:1
Much of secular society is based on fear. People and organizations try to make us afraid in order to manipulate us. The biggest reasons are, first, to get us to buy something so that they will make more money and, second, to get us to vote for them so that they will have more power. Fear is the tool of the world, and the prince of the world is Satan.
One good area to examine is our fear of humiliation. People live in terrible fear of being humiliated in public although, in terms of Christian values, humility is an ideal! Imagine giving a speech to a thousand people, saying something incorrect, and having a person stand up and point out your mistake in the most sarcastic way, calling you stupid and uneducated. This cannot hurt your soul unless your pride makes you respond in a sinful manner. But very few people have faith strong enough not to agonize over being “put down” in public.
Children learn this fear early. They worry about a teacher singling them out in class and embarrassing them, or being teased for wearing ugly clothes or some perceived shortcoming: overweight, a father in prison, too tall, too short - the list of things children can make fun of is endless. But we are not children. “When I became a man, I put away childish things.”
This is something that a lot of people (including me) really can find a lot of help with, right in the Bible. The stronger our relationship is with Christ, the less we fear humiliation, because we know that He loves us greatly in humility. Pride sometimes gets us where we want to go in this world; but it will get us where we don’t want to go in the long run! When we spend our lives worrying about other people's opinions of us, we are worried about an earthly problem, for in Christ, the meek will inherit the earth.
Do not expect to be popular or respected if you want to find Christ. Expect the love and salvation of God, that is true and powerful and lasts forever, not the vain and short-lived adulation of other people. You will find friends in Christ, but they are going to love you in whatever humiliation you might encounter.
Lord, let me never feel pain in humility, but let my humility always be a gift to you. Amen.
~ Mason Barge
Editor, Daily Prayer