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The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.” Proverbs 29:25

Lord, please forgive me for allowing my fear of man to shape an ungodly view of church life in my soul.  I confess that all too often, I have left church on Sunday mornings upset that I wasn’t invited into the “Cool Kid’s Huddle” after service. I confess that instead of leaving church full of rejoicing that I have been accepted into Your family; I have left church sulking that I wasn’t accepted into the “in” crowd. It is so embarrassing that I do this. It is embarrassing that I have even gone to church one time thinking about me at all- let alone having done it countless times. Church is about worshipping You, and serving Your body; not about my pride or my fear of man. Lord please forgive me.

Lord, please forgive me for allowing my fear of man to shape my ungodly speech. I confess that I have often hopped on the “Complaining about Everything Ban-Wagon-”  just so that I could share in conversation with others who were complaining. I have done this even when in reality I didn’t feel upset about anything that You had providentially ordained into my life. I know that the Word says, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing…” (Phil 2: 14). I also know that my complaining and grumbling, has often been motivated by wanting to have something in common with other people, or because I didn’t want others to think that I was being overly pious. (Which is really lame, considering that Christians are supposed to be pious.) In truth Lord, I think that my obsession with people pleasing also accounts for most of the gossip that I have ever shared. It is like I just wanted to be the one with the juiciest morsel of the day- the person who is in ‘the know’ with what’s going on in the lives of others.Lord, please forgive me- I know that Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

Lord, please forgive me for loving the praise of men more than loving the opportunities that You have given me to serve You. I have often allowed my fear of man to make me feel ashamed that You have manifested your grace in me in a different way than You have manifested your grace in the lives of my peers. It has been my fear of man and my pathetic desire to just “fit in” that has given me that uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach, when I have been called to serve you in a different way than my friends have been called to serve you. I have thought foolish things to myself, like: “What if so and so doesn’t approve?”, or  “What will ‘this one’ or ‘that one’ think of me when she hears about me doing thus and so?”.

Lord, I would have thought that the grace that you have shown me in giving me unique opportunities to serve You- would have caused the other type of pride to well up in side of me. You know the “I am so great, look at me” kind of pride. But, I am such a mess (outside of your grace) that that type of pride is quickly squelched by the reminder of my intrinsic uselessness, my lack of innate intelligence, and the horrifying reality of my sinfulness. Besides, like 1 Corinthians 4:7 says, “For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” Lord, please forgive me- I confess that my pathetic man-pleasing, people-pandering pride has made me so fearful of people that I have sometimes even wanted to forfeit the blessings of Christ and the graces of the Holy Spirit- so that I could just be like everybody else. I mean really, how sad is that? How wicked is that? How sad am I? How wicked am I? I don’t think that it gets more debased than to want to shirk the calling of God just so that I can “fit in” with the world around me.

Lord, please forgive me for my fear of man- it has been a systemic problem in my walk with You.  Even in this brief time of confession I can see how terrible of a snare this sin is to my soul. Please forgive me, please free me, please grant to me the faith that I need to trust in you, and to be kept safe. For Your Word warns me that “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.”