Fear of man vs the Fear of the Lord

Why am I so uncomfortable around people, trying to do things that others want me to do? In this video, Ryan dives into the topic of the fear of man vs the fear of the Lord. Find the peace and understanding that comes from fearing the Lord instead of man!

Questions addressed

  • What is the fear of the Lord?
  • What is the fear of man?
  • What does fear mean in the Bible?
  • What is the difference between fear of man and the fear of the Lord?
  • Why should I fear God?
  • How can I get wisdom?
  • How can I care less about what people think of me?

Related Bible verses


Morning! I’m a follower of the Lord and my name is Ryan McKeel. This is whybemerelyhuman.com and the video blog that’s on it. This morning I would like to talk about fear of man versus the fear of the Lord. I’ll start off with scripture: Proverbs 1 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” I’m not particularly qualified to talk about any of these topics, but I felt the Lord impressing on my heart that I should talk about it, so here goes! There is a huge difference between the fear of man and the fear of the Lord in the Christian walk you really need to understand the difference. So, let me give you a few examples. If you’re at the mall and you’re very concerned with clothing, appearance, what you say and things like that, that’s fear of man, because you’re around other people and you really care what they think about how you act and respond and things like that. But if you go to the mall and you say, “Lord, tell me what you want me to do here” and maybe you talk to some people that you otherwise wouldn’t have, or you love the friends that you’re with and you try to support and encourage them, and you’re thinking about how to impress and please God, that’s fear of the Lord. In this case, fear needs to be defined. What is fear? Fear is not, “Oh, I’m afraid of you!” in this case with fear of man versus fear of the Lord it’s talking about “I really respect you. I value your opinions. I care about what you care about and I want to know more what you care about.” When you fear man, you’re caught in a frantic cycle of trying to please man. When you fear the Lord, you’re caught in a peaceful cycle of trying to please the Lord and being reaffirmed of your value in the Lord. So, it’s really a heart and mind change that will only come about by reading the Word, listening to the Spirit and praying. Those are all things that you do, but I assure you that God is in the mix and that He is the One that affects change in your heart and mind. Without Him, you can’t do it yourself. I’ve learned that the hard way but I’ve also read some good materials on it that I’ll reference maybe in later videos that really say that the Lord is in charge of our spiritual growth; it’s not us trying to push push push but it’s the Lord working to grow us over time. And we see that play out with adversity in our life, hard things that happen, painful things… my mother died when I was just finishing up high school, just a couple of weeks before I graduated and that was very hard. I loved her very much. But the Lord grew me through it. So, Praise the Lord! Because He’s the one that can turn bad things into wonderful, beautiful things; He’s the restorer of life. Praise the Lord. Here’s another passage: this is Proverbs 2. “My son, if you receive my words and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom and apply your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry out for discernment and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver and search for her as hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” So, I really encourage you to do what this says – cry out for discernment, lift up your voice for understanding, seek her as silver. So, in this case, don’t pursue money, pursue God! Pursue understanding, pursue wisdom – these are the good things to pursue. And God will bless you for that by letting you understand the fear of the Lord. And I tell you what, whether you believe it or not, you’re either a slave to man and belongings and possessions and things like that, or you’re a slave to God! And I’ve always struggled with the concept of a “slave to God”, but let me tell you that it’s better to be a slave to God than a slave to the world!


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