Author: Edward T. Welch
Do you have a problem with fear of man? If so I highly recommend Ed Welch’s When People Are Big and God Is Small. If you don’t think you have a problem with the fear of man, then I especially recommend this book. Here are some of the disguises that Welch says that the fear of man can hide behind: peer pressure, over-commitment, needing someone, self-esteem, fear of exposure, embarrassment, lying, and jealousy. Still don’t think you struggle, Welch then brings out the trump card, the one word that will make you recognize you are not immune – evangelism. Convinced?
The premise of the book is contained in the title. When we fear man, people become God-like and man becomes God-like. The solution is to fight fear with fear. We need to see God, and have a holy reverence for Him that swallows all other fears.
This is the second Welch book that I have read. With every read I walk away blessed and more thankful that God has blessed His church with him. Here is Biblical counsel, firm and tender, true and practical.
Scripture gives three basic reasons why we fear other people, and we will look at each of them in turn.
- We fear people because they can expose and humiliate us.
- We fear people because they can reject, ridicule, or despise us.
- We fear people because they can attack, oppress, or threaten us.
These three reasons have one thing in common: they see people as “bigger” (that is more powerful and significant) than God, and , out of the fear that creates un us, we give other people the power and right to tell us what to feel, think, and do.
That’s the paradox of self-esteem: Low self-esteem usually means that I think too highly of myself. I’m to self-involved, I feel I deserve better than what I have. The reason I feel bad about myself is that I aspire to something more. I want just a few minutes of greatness. I am a peasant who wants to be king. When you are in the grips of low self-esteem, it’s painful, and it certainly doesn’t feel like pride. But I believe that this is the dark, quieter side of pride – thwarted pride.
Anything that erodes the fear of God will intensify the fear of man.
People are most similar to God when he is the object of their affection.