Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe. (Proverbs 29:25)
Did you ever go out to the woods as a kid and build a trap? It might have been the box with a string variety, or a noose in the middle of a path, or trip wire. You may have gone so far as digging a pit covered with a thin layer of twigs and grass. My traps never produced much in the way of animals (thankfully!), but they did teach me a thing or two.
The best traps are the ones that you don’t see coming. They are veiled and hidden from plain sight, or placed in the blind spot of an intended victim. They often entice you with a morsel of something that invites you in for a look, and then catch you unaware from behind.
I think that the traps of sin are much the same. They promise “greener grass” or swifter returns, but end with devastating outcomes. They disguise themselves as good, but end in compromise.
The fear of what others think – living for the approval of those around us – is an example of the later. We can rationalize that it is wise to please our family, wife, boss, or friends. That’s good, isn’t it? But if this takes our eyes off of the Lord, or compromises our beliefs, it can become a snare to us and trip us up.
The focus of Hebrews 12:1-3 reminds us to “keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” This is my prayer for today, as there are many other pressures and demands upon my life today.