In our study of the fear of the Lord, we looked first at what fear of man looks like. There are many authors who have done excellent work on this topic. I chose to use Ed Welch’s book, “When People Are Big and God is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man as one of my resources for our study.”

I mentioned, what I called, The “Man Fear” Test. Dr. Welch highlights 13 items that might indicate someone struggles with fear of other people. I used nine of these in my sermon. Here is the entire list.

I encourage you to purchase the book if you feel that you need to give more attention to people-pleasing tendencies or fear of other people.

A struggle with peer pressure – most often identified as a teen problem, but Welch states that if you struggled with this as a teen you probably struggle with it today.

Over-commitment – Is it hard to say no due to the fear of what others will think of you. Or do you say yes so others will think you are ‘extra committed’ to the church, project or team.

Self-esteem – Do you need others to affirm you so you feel good about yourself.

Do you “need” something from your spouse? – Do you need your spouse to listen to you? Respect you? Unless you understand the biblical parameters of marital commitment, your spouse will become the one you fear. Your spouse will control you.

Do you ever feel as if you might be exposed as an impostor? Many successful people say they feel this way. If they find out the truth they won’t like me or hire me or listen to me or come to church.

Do you second-guess decisions you have made because of what others might think of you? Are you afraid of making mistakes that will make you look bad in other people’s eyes?

Do other people make you angry or depressed? Do they make you crazy? If so, they are have a degree of control over you.

Do you avoid people? In this case you might not need them, but they do control were you go and what you do.

Diets – How many of us are really dieting because of health? The desire for the praise of men is one way we exalt people above God.

Success – Do you compare yourself to others to feel good about yourself? Success is determined by how much more you have than the next person. If this is true, then your life is defined by other people’s success or lack of success more than by God.

Do you feel empty? Is life meaningless? If you need others to fill you, you are controlled by them.

Do you get easily embarrassed? If so, you are allowing the perception of other people to define you. You exalt the opinions of others to the point where you are ruled by them.

Do you ever lie, especially the little white lies? Do you use lies to cover up areas of your life. This is another effort to influence what others think of you, thereby giving them control of your life.

Are you jealous of other people? You are controlled by them and their possessions.