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Through "The Basics with Beth," Beth Jones is teaching the basics of God's Word to help you live a life you love and love the life you live! 

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Monday, Wednesday and Friday: “The Basics with Beth” – Fresh, fun and empowering Bible basics to build your faith and impact your life in practical ways.

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A Big Trap

Beth Jones

"The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe." Proverbs 29:25, NKJV

The fear of man is a big trap. Trusting the Lord is the place of safety. 

If we were honest, most of us would say that we desire the approval of others. The problem? It's a trap. When we care about the approval and praises of others more than God's approval and His praises – it's a snare.

Human nature is sometimes fickle. Consider this familiar scenario (see Matthew 21 & 28)...

At first, when someone's personal stock and potential is moving up in value, the crowds cheer, "Hosanna..." and sing praises! This person gets a hero's welcome everywhere they go – kudos, approval ratings and great headlines full of high hopes and great promise. But it's all a big set up. Here's why…

At some point, the hero will make a mistake, let people down, not live up to everyone's expectations and prove that he or she is not perfect. At that point, it's possible that the crowds will start cheering, "Crucify him/her..." The balloon has popped. The bar was set so high that no human being could reach it. The crowds critique and disapprove.

But, when we are unmoved by the crowd -- we are truly free to live for an Audience of One and we can rest in the safest place in all the world! Trusting the Lord, rather than the approval of man, gives us the freedom to be the person God created us to be.

Now a little caveat...the Bible says that when our ways please the Lord, He gives us favor with God, man and even our enemies! There is nothing wrong with being well-liked and gracious with people; in fact, it's a blessing! The difficulty enters when gaining the approval of others is more important to us than God's approval. When we love the praises of men, more than the praises of God – it's a snare. However, when our ways please the Lord, look what He does for us:

"When a man's ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him." Proverbs 16:7, NIV

"…You will find favor with both God and people, and you will gain a good reputation." Proverbs 3:4, NLT

Say This: "Father, help me to live for Your pleasure. I pray that You strengthen me in my inner man so that I am not moved by the approval or disapproval of others. My desire is to be the person You have created me to be and to live a life fully pleasing to You. I choose to trust in You and live in a safe place. As a result, I thank You for giving me favor with others! In Jesus' Name. Amen."