Luke 12:1-13:9, Proverbs 22:17-29
Someone, I have forgotten who, suggested the hardest of Jesus’ commands to obey is the one that goes: “do not be afraid of those who can kill the body and after that do no more.” (Luke 12:4) It is kind of funny that we fear people, even when they are not trying to do anywhere near the harm Jesus mentions. We fear bosses will fire us, friends will ostracize us, or that neighbors will make our lives difficult. Certainly, if we thought someone wanted to take our lives, we would probably find it difficult to keep fear at bay. So, how does Jesus intend us to live without fear of people? Such fear seems as common to us as buying groceries. Jesus has an answer to this question embedded in the original command. He continues, “But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.” Now, you might say, wouldn’t it be nice to fear neither. The truth is, you will choose whom to fear. If God is not worth your fear, then people control the keys to your happiness. If God is Lord over the living and dead, then only our Lord is worth our utmost concern. More than this, we are told that God values us more than Jesus will quantify in dollars and cents (Luke 12:6-7). So, if you live with a crippling concern for the opinions, decisions, and whims of others, remember God is on the throne, and loves you with great love. The more you believe this, the more you will be free from fearing others.