Wednesday 02 October 2019

Bible Book:

The fear of others lays a snare, but one who trusts in the Lord is secure. (v. 25)

Proverbs 29:23-27 Wednesday 2 October 2019

Psalm: Psalm 68:1-6, 32-35


There’s a transfer on the wall of my local coffee shop that reads: The greatest prison people live in, is the fear of what other people think.

It’s not uncommon to worry about what other people think of you. In fact, I’ll be pretty surprised if we haven’t all felt at least a bit concerned by it at some point in our lives. It can be a mild cringe at what others might be thinking of something you’ve said or done or, at the other extreme, can become social anxiety disorder – a crippling condition that can wreak havoc on those that suffer from it and keep them confined to their house.

Verse 25 of today’s reading shows understanding of just how powerful that worry and fear can be – the New Revised Standard Version describes it as ‘snare’, the Good News as it being ‘dangerous’, The Message calls it something that ‘disables’. This very human condition (that was obviously an issue in Solomon’s time too) is not to be played down – it can easily cloud our judgement, prevent us making decisions, and stop us from seeing the wood from the trees.

But God offers us an alternative – trust in him and we can find security (NRSV), safety (Good News Bible) and protection (The Message). None of the versions say "Trust in him and all your worries disappear", of course, but we can rest assured that our God – who can move mountains – can turn harm intended by others into good for those that believe in him.


To Ponder:

  • Are there ever situations when it’s right to be concerned about what others are thinking?
  • Is the worry of what others think stopping you from making important decisions at the moment? What practical steps can you take to move the situation on?
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