Proverbs 29:25 says, “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.”
On day 3 of the fast of negative thoughts, the focus is on the fears we have of what others think. The root of that fear is what Jesus calls the fear of man. You may have heard psychologists call it seeking approval. Seeking approval happens when you are desperately trying to please people. You are putting another human being higher than yourself and higher than God.
The root of this was created in your childhood home environment if you had a parent (caregiver) or sibling that you placed above you, and they never gave praise or were difficult to please. You were created to desire praise. It shapes your self-esteem and points you towards discerning right from wrong. It creates a well of healthy self-esteem and gives you a barometer against unhealthy people.
The first step to cutting off the need for the approval of man, or fear of man, is to ask God what HE thinks. When you ask him what HE thinks of you, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. This is putting him at the center of your heart.
Think of a situation where you felt terribly judged. Maybe you made a mistake at work and you’re afraid your boss thinks you’re stupid. Maybe you have to get up in front of a group of your peers and you’re afraid they will think you are not competent. One of my struggles is public speaking or singing in public. I had debilitating stage fright as a child. I wanted to be a performing artist really bad, but my fears held me back well into my 20’s.
Ok. Think of this moment. Think of how it feels when you think about this. I often feel frozen inside. Now, take that thought or memory and ask God what he thinks. Does he think you are stupid? Does he think you are a failure? Write down what he says about you. Every time you have one of those thoughts, ask him what he thinks.
You will get so in the habit of asking him what he thinks, that he will become greater in your mind and your heart, than any of the people in your mind, that you think you need to please.