Have you ever watched a trapped animal? The anxiety causes it to behave abnormally. Given enough space in it's confinement, it may pace around. It may scream and squeal in terror, and in anger. It may become so distressed that it becomes ill or actually dies. Others become apprehensive, afraid to make a move or let a sound escape from their mouth. They are paralyzed by their fear.
A person who fears man falls into a snare, or trap.
In a high stress situation, people who have a greater fear of man, than of God, tend to find themselves either "stewing" in silence, or loudly calling attention to their view. Both are exhibitions of anger. Some are quietly angry, others are boisterous in their anger. Just as any hurting person will naturally hurt people, those caught in the snare of the fear of man will seek to rip and tear at the conscious, confidence and character of others. One does this through "silent treatment" by "stuffing" their feelings and emotions (often speaking negatively 'behind another's back') due to the fear of further torment. Another does so through shrieking or bellowing in hopes of calling attention to their confinement (moving attention away from the behavior that resulted in the snare).
The former seeks self destruction. They are angry with themselves for falling into the trap and somehow assume that if they were non existent, their perceived captor would feel remorse and also seek to self destruct. In the process they often pull others into their plight. Misery does love company. The latter seeks freedom from their self imposed demise. They tend to think that the painful, shrieking (yelling, teasing, beating) will open the door of the trap they have fallen into. By striking out at anyone who comes near the trap, (sometimes through smiles and laughter) they refuse the mercy that seeks to set them free.
A person who fears the Lord will depart from the snare that is laid for him. He will be safe.
The fear of the Lord is both the beginning of wisdom and the beginning of knowledge. The fear of the Lord is also a fountain of life that prolongs days and provides confidence. The person who fears the Lord, more than man, will have heaven's view of the situation. He will bring safety to the fearful by extending grace and mercy. His desire is to remove the snare. He will approach others in a way that honors, confirms and edifies. His conversation with bystanders will encourage bold confidence that appreciates ones conscious and builds character.
Perfect (mature) Love casts out fear, because fear has torment.
Everyday each of us have opportunities to either fall into the trap, or save someone else from it. Perfect love is patient and kind, it does not seek its own or give consideration to a perceived wrong. Mature love protects and prefers others, offering hope as it carries the burden of the situation. True love seeks to remove fear and build confidence.
He that fears has not been perfected ~ has not matured ~ in love.
It is important that when we look into the mirror, we do not forget what kind of people we are. We are God's own masterpiece ~ individually ~ and collectively. Instead, we must look intently into the perfect law of liberty ~ affecting the lives of people as we live in that freedom. Our tongues are meant to be bridled. Our words are meant to edify the hearer. It's time to depart from the snare and mature in our love for one another.
"Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger, for the anger of man (produced by fear) does not achieve the righteousness of God." James 1:19