Talk About It Tuesdays – Fear of Man vs Fear of God, Round One


So, I totally forgot today was Tuesday.  It feels like a Wednesday to me.  Anyway, here we go:

I have heard wonderful things about the writings of Ed Welch. I have always wanted to read what he has written. Beginning to read this book When People Are Big and God is Small is an amazing blessing that I am so thankful for. So far I have only read chapters 1-6, but I look forward to finishing it this week and then sharing with you next week. 🙂

The first six chapters of this book are rich in numerous principles. The first chapter begins with a discussion of mankind and us personally as love-capable beings. We have been blessed with a wonderful ability to give and receive love, yet in the sinfulness of the fall, we are warped and tend to view love as more a matter of receiving than serving. A major discussion here also involves the fact that we tend to seek that love from mankind. In that sense, as Welch describes it, we are love tanks with a leak that makes the function of our being misdirected and unappreciated for its intended worth.

The second chapter delves into one of the numerous lies that mankind believes about love, the world, self-image, and God. Specifically labeled as “People will see me”, this chapter deals with a man-centered philosophy, a man-centered worldview, and not only a man- centered heart but a self-centered heart. He discusses shame as we know if from the Bible: shame from actions committed against us and shame from actions we have committed. Talking in detail on these subjects, we can learn that an incorrect view of mankind (which originates from an incorrect view of the Lord) if rooted in shame of some sort. Even a variety of self-esteem issues truly come from an issue of shame in one’s own life.

Chapter three deals with another world-projected, devil-convincing, self-believing lie about people, about God, and about self. This chapter deals specifically with a love of pleasing and serving man, which is an idol is so many of our hearts. Welch talks in detail through Biblical examples as well as addresses modern situations and temptations faced by all to keep man as the god in our lives. This, he discussed, is ruled by a fear of man and a lack of correct fear for God.

In the fourth chapter of this book, we discuss the issue of fear of man based on a physical fear for one’s life or safety. Interestingly enough, Welch worked in the story of Abram and his wife when they were in Egypt and how Abram feared his own life. Welch also discussed those who have legitimately faced abuse in their life and find it hard to trust God and even other people. The discussion in the book was both encouraging and comforting to those who have been hurt and used as well as challenging them not to use those past events and hurts as excuses for a lack of trust in God. God is good, and when the hurt person focuses on people and their failures, God is viewed as small, weak, and overall, not as good as He is.

Chapter five talks about a few common lies that we are not only told by the devil and our flesh but which are broadcast and encouraged by the surrounding society. These lies include the following: we are mostly good, god is an impersonal being and really whatever you want him to be, our problems are caused by an overall lack of received love and therefore a low self-esteem, psychology is necessary, etc. Welch discusses these lies in the light of Scripture and finishes the chapter with a discussion of the failure of psychology even from the secular person’s worldview.

Chapter six was so wonderful. Dealing with a view of the fear of the Lord from both extremes was a wonderful next step after reading so much about the failure of the world’s wisdom. Welch discusses the contrast between the world’s fear of God and what they do not understand and the reverence, awe, and gratitude that comes with fearing the Lord in wisdom and Godly understanding.

One thing from this book that I thought was super cool was when Welch directly challenged all believers that we all, no matter how spiritual, struggle with a tendency to want to please man. I appreciated his inclusion of the accounts of Peter’s life as well as the way he directly said if we claim there is no man-pleasing desire in us, then someone should check for a pulse. I felt like that comment really nipped a self-righteousness attitude in me right in the bud. 

Another thing that stuck out to me was just how damaging a fear of man is in the life of a believer.  It damages their witness before the unsaved, it inhibits their ability to serve believers and non-believers alike, and it totally removes Christ from the forefront of one’s mind and heart.

Anyway, that’s only the first six chapters, so I’m sure I’ll share a little of what he talks about in the chapters to come. =)

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Now for some personal updates! 🙂

It’s a beautiful day out today, my finger nails are painted a nice pink, my last English Literature lecture is playing, and my water for our lunch of seafood alfredo (so, the water for the pasta) is almost boiling in the other room.

It’s been a great morning so far, as I have been able to get a few very pressing things accomplished, and the to-do’s I’ve been entering into my phone daily because I’ve not done them have actually been accomplished. Whoohoo!!

It’s amazing what kinds of things you take for granted in your everyday life.  For instance, I have a list in front of me given to Adam and I by a friend of ours who is helping plan my bridal shower at church in early April.  She wants to know the brands and supplies we need for our daily life (I think it might be for a wishing well… not really sure) and as I look at the list, it’s quite extensive and kinda crazy to think about.  I forget how expensive my first year of school was, filling just a dorm room with all the daily necessities and that wasn’t even counting a kitchen!!

I’ve decided I’m really thankful for my future brother-in-law.  He’s a pretty cool guy. Anyway, today I mention him because he’s out clearing the spot for Adam and my little cabin. 🙂  The area had been a small woodsy area, but now he has torn down a significant amount of trees, dug out a very long driveway, and encouraged in me a whole lot of excitement that this discussion is quickly becoming a reality! 🙂

It’s perfect weather to be working outside!!  It’s about mid-50’s today, and the screen door to the back porch is open to let in the fresh air and let out the seafood-smelling fumes of lunch. :)… and it’s therefore a great day for being outside and doing something fun and not being locked up inside writing papers as I am.  Aaahhh!!!  Spring fever has hit hard, and I’m definitely wanting to go run around outside, jump on the trampoline, and maybe take a dive in the swimming pool. Sigh….. soon.

So, Emily, Sarah, and I have taken to enjoying Lost. Well, let me be more clear:  I love Lost. Michaela and I would spend our free time watching the show, and now we are in the final season.  Sarah and Emily think it’s stupid (and I have to admit, it kinda is) but they’re caught up, and it’s the last season, so why not?? 🙂 We enjoyed watching an episode (on an ornery internet connection) last night as we snacked on Em’s strategically hidden Reese’s Puffs (LOL… I even ate the ones that fell on the floor. Hey!  They were the peanut butter-flavored ones!!)  It was pretty fun!  So, in a round-about way, thanks, girls! 🙂 🙂

I was encouraged by a good four votes on my blog poll. ….. not.  lol… come on, people.  I would really love some feedback! 🙂

LOL…. I love one-liners!! I really should be working on my term-paper for English Literature, writing a six-page paper for Rhetorical Criticism, or working on my counseling project for Intro to Biblical Counseling… and I’m off to do them soon, but I was listening to a Gilmore Girl episode as I typed (in celebration of being finished with my English Lit lectures for good!!!) and they have some amazing one-liners, so that often I wish I were that clever on a flash.  Can someone write me a daily script?

So, remember how I said I was going to be looking for jobs locally? lol…well, how’s this for a first-impression??  I contacted a lawyer’s office yesterday, sending them my resume over email.  Guess what? This morning I get on my email, and I have an email in response!!  So cool!!  Excited, I click on it, and all it says is: “Your email did not have your resume attached.  Please attach and send it.”  Drat.  How smooth.  I am so sure that I attached it in my first email to this company, but if not, that shows an incredible lack of attention to detail on my part.  I’m sure I’ll get hired now. lol

Ok.  Ed Welch’s chapter seven is calling as is Shakespeare, as is a rhetorical criticism for which I need to find the movie A Knight’s Tale to watch…. hm…. anybody have it so I can borrow it?  Maybe I should order it on NetFlix…..hmmmmmm.  Ok. I’m off.

P.S.  My purse is in the mail—no joke.  Yes, I’m serious. I totally forgot my purse at my sister Jess’s on Staten Island last Saturday, so she’s mailing it to me.  It should be here by now – she express mailed it – and it’ll be wonderful to have it back… not that I have any money to spend, but my ID would useful. 🙂

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