Leadership can be a scary position, but not all fear is dangerous. There are healthy and and unhealthy fears of leaders. Let’s examine them briefly:
We must fear the Lord.
Psalm 111:10 tells us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.” The fear of the Lord helps us recognize our accountability to God for the stewardship of leadership. It motivates us to seek the Lord’s wisdom and understanding in difficult situations. And it challenges us to give our all to the Lord by serving those we lead with love and humility.
We must not fear perception.
Fear of man is the enemy of the fear of the Lord. The fear of man pushes us to perform for man’s approval rather than according to God’s directives. It encourages visible results at the expense of private worship and growth. It causes us to over-commit and spread ourselves beyond the Holy Spirit’s leading. It limits our ministry and stunts our walk with the Lord.
The fear of man is a terrible, binding trap. Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.”
While the fear of the Lord motivates us to give our best by His Spirit, the fear of man intimidates us into fleshly production. The fear of man strangles us, because we can never please everybody; but the fear of the Lord frees us, because it challenges us to live and serve for an audience of One.
Are you operating under the fear of the Lord or the fear of others’ perceptions?