Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 29:25
"The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted"
The picture here is of one who has been put into a cage. This cage is made up of what others will do, others will think, others will say.
This proverb tells us that when you tremble or are frightened by what others will do or by what they want you to do, you will be put in a cage of their expectations or possible reactions. You cannot do the right thing when you are constantly testing the wind of others’ approval.
This is like living in a yard with an invisible electronic fence and when you get too close to the border, you get a choking sensation through the collar you wear. That collar is the fear of man – being fearful of what others will do or say.
Now it is not wrong to try and keep from offending others by what we do and say. But when their reaction becomes the determiner of all we do and say – the boundary line that we will not cross – then we are caught.
What this proverb is saying is that many times what we know is the right thing to do involves crossing someone else’s opinion of what we shouldn't do. In order to please the Lord you will have to cross lines that other people do not want you to go. You will have to trust the Lord that it will work out okay. There will be consequences for following the Lord in righteousness.
We must not believe that everyone will be excited that we are pursuing the Lord and His direction. There will be people who have designs on your life; people who have ideas on what you should do; people who have an idea of exactly what you should do and not do. But you must trust the Lord and answer to Him.
When you believe that what God wants is just beyond the boundaries of those around you, you should make sure it is truly the Lord prompting you or truly the Lord's righteous designs to do a particular thing. Get counsel from godly people and then launch out, trusting the Lord to work. The people whose lines you are crossing will be upset or even insulting, but you must not be caged in by fearing what they do in reaction.
I think about how many people I have tried to counsel and help, but they would not take the Bible's clear advice because that would upset so and so or what would my grandmother think or how would my brother react if he heard that or people would think I was being a goody-two-shoes.
There comes a time when you must cross a person's expectations and even their counsel to follow the Lord fully. DO NOT BE CAGED IN BY WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK. Follow the Lord fully.