“The fear of man lays a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.”
Proverbs 29:25

“Fear of man is such a part of our human fabric that we should check for pulse if someone denies it.”–Ed Welch, When People Are Big and God Is Small.

In order to fear God, not man, here are the steps Welch sets forth in his book, which I’ve just started and would warmly commend:

Step 1: Recognize that the fear of man is a major theme both in the Bible and in your own life.

Step 2: Identify where your fear of man has been intensified by people in your past.

Step 3: Identify where your fear of man has been intensified by the assumptions of the world.

Step 4: Understand and grow in the fear of the Lord. The person who fears God will fear nothing else.

Step 5: Examine where your desires have been too big. When we fear people, people are big, our desires are even bigger, and God is small.

Step 6: Rejoice that God has covered your shame, protected you from danger, and accepted you. He has filled you with love.

Step 7: Need other people less, love other people more. Out of obedience to Christ, and as a response to his love toward you, pursue others in love.

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3 thoughts on “When People Are Big and God Is Small”

  1. Tim Chester says:

    I just want to add a commendation of Ed Welch’s book, When People are Big and God is Small. It’s the only book I’ve ever read that I start re-reading within a week of finishing it.

  2. Brian Hamrick says:

    Glad to hear the review of this book. It’s been on my books to consider buying for some time.

  3. donsands says:

    I would need some more unpacking of his points here. I’m not quite getting a handle on what he’s saying in points 2 & 3.
    I suppose I need to read the book.

    Thanks for the review. I can have problems with timidity.

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Justin Taylor


Justin Taylor is senior vice president and publisher for books at Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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