Log kya kahenge: How the gospel frees us from the fear of man

There are a number of things that are done in our society because if we don’t do it, “what will people say” or “what will people think”. Or we avoid doing things because “What will people think?”

Why disapproval of performance is bad news

People may not approve of what we do or say. And that is scary.

But why?

Why are we so afraid of people? Why are we scared of their opinions?

Facing disapproval for our actions can be scary because acceptance often depends on how well we perform.

This is especially so in professional communities. You get accepted into a medical college only if you perform well in the examination. You get accepted into upper management only if you perform well in your current targets. And this is good for such professional communities. Lives could be lost if you are a doctor who cannot perform well. Therefore, professional communities need to have performance-based acceptance because they need to maintain professional standards. If you do not perform, you lose acceptance.

When honour becomes an idol

Families need not maintain professional standards. Families start offering performance-based acceptance not because they want to maintain standards but because they want to maintain prestige, honour or wealth.

We hear stories of parents disowning their children because the child did something which brought disrepute and dishonour to the family. When given a choice between keeping their child or keeping honour, many parents choose to keep honour. This is because honour/prestige/status has become an idol in such parents’ lives.

Performance-based acceptance can lead to fear — fear of losing such acceptance. Personal communities need to be built on love, but mutual love cannot thrive in an environment of fear and anxiety. What if your performance drops? What if you’re not good enough to continue being part of the group?

What if you’re not good enough?

The good news?

The good news in the Bible frees us from the fear of people’s opinions. This news is that your acceptance is not tied to your performance.

The Bible does give you the devastating news that in fact, you are not good enough.

And you never will be.

But you don’t need to be.

You are accepted not because of your performance but because of someone else’s performance.

Through Jesus’s perfect life and sacrifice on the cross, you are accepted into the family of God. This is a very real family where you have God as Father, and fellow brothers and sisters as part of the family.

Because your performance hasn’t earned you your acceptance, your poor performance can never make you lose your acceptance. This is tremendously freeing. You don’t need to fear that your shortcomings or your “perceived shortcomings” would ever make you lose the acceptance you enjoy.

Log kya kahenge?

That is the wrong question to ask. It doesn’t matter what people say. What matters is what God says. He says that your acceptance is not based on your performance.

Being Indian and Christian

Being Indian and Christian is my weekly email newsletter in which I try to understand the world (popular culture or news and events from India or around the world) from a Christian world-view. If that’s something you’re interested in, I’d be honoured if you signed up!

Being Indian and Christian is also on Instagram:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow us on Social Media