Scripture Reading: Exodus 1:15-22
I love playing the piano, but I used to be so afraid of playing in front of others that I never wanted to play in public. At home, I could play for hours, loving every minute of it. But in front of others, my brain would check out, and my hands would shake.
Then one day I was reading Jesus’ parable about the talents and the three guys who were given different amounts of talents. Two of them made a return on their gifts, but one buried his talent in the ground because he was afraid.
I was convicted. I was letting the “fear of man” keep my talent hidden, when God had given it to me, not just for me but, like all gifts He gives, so that we can bless others.
I had a choice to make: I was going to be guided either by what men might think of me, or by what God might think of me.
The Hebrew midwives in Egypt had a choice to make, too. When the king of Egypt was afraid the Israelites were growing too numerous and might one day leave them, he put them in bondage and ordered the midwives to kill any baby boys as soon as they were born. What could the midwives do? Their hands were tied―or were they? The Bible says:
“The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.” (Exodus 1:17)
And the results?
“So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own” (Exodus 1:20-21).
Although the “fear of man” threatened to keep the midwives in bondage, the “fear of God” set them free. God honored the midwives’ healthy fear of Him by blessing them with families of their own and freeing who-knows-how-many children from the grip of death as well.
Instead of succumbing to their honest and understandable fears, God showed them a way around their fears to accomplish what He called them to do: deliver His children.
I found a way around my fear of playing the piano in front of people, too.
One day a friend came to my house and heard a few of the songs I had written. He seemed to be truly touched by the music and thought it would touch others, too. He was a professional musician and asked if he could bring some recording equipment over and record the songs. That was fine with me. I wasn’t afraid of making a mistake in front of a machine―just people!
When we finished recording a dozen songs, he gave me a copy of the music. I was amazed by what I heard! I had never heard my songs played before as a “listener.” I was always the “player,” and my concentration was intensely focused on getting the notes right. For the first time, I was able to truly relax and just listen to the music. And it touched my own heart, too.
I uploaded the songs on the Internet and people began to listen. And they were touched, too, setting them free from worries, tensions, fears and doubts that were keeping them in bondage.
Instead of succumbing to my honest and understandable fears, God showed me a way around my fears to accomplish what He called me to do: deliver His children. And the confidence that has given me has enabled me to play in front of people now, too, not caring so much about the notes I might get wrong, but caring more about the notes God’s given me to play.
Is the “fear of man” holding you back from doing some of the very things that God has called you to do, gifted you to do, and equipped you to do? You might want to take a cue from the Hebrew midwives who feared God more than man, and in the process set themselves―and who knows how many others―free.
Want to learn more? You can watch a podcast with more discussion about this topic below.