John 9.20-23 records, his parents said, “We know he is our son, and we know he was born blind. But we don’t know how he came to see—haven’t a clue about who opened his eyes. Why don’t you ask him? He’s a grown man and can speak for himself.” (His parents were talking like this because they were intimidated by the Jewish leaders, who had already decided that anyone who took a stand that this was the Messiah would be kicked out of the meeting place. That’s why his parents said, “Ask him. He’s a grown man. MSG
Fear of men, shame of God, are the result of sin. We were created to love God and to serve Him, to encourage one another to stay true to God and to do His will together. Now, many of us, too often, love men more than God, at least their approval and their opinion. We often fear men despising us more than God condemning us.
This fear of men and desire for their approval runs deep within us. These parents in essence denied their own son to seek the approval of their leaders. Parents denying their own son seems unbelievable, yet it is true. How much easier is it for the created to deny their Creator? What will change this? A greater love for God than for man.
When our love for God’s approval exceeds our love for people’s approval then we will identify with Him more than we identify with what is popular in our culture. This is in essence why we have been given the first command. To love God. Without obedience to this command, we will fail to truly obey the second command, to love our neighbor as ourselves. We cannot love our neighbor best until we love our God most.
At the root of wanting to please men is self-preservation. At the root of wanting to please God is self-abandonment, for His glory on earth as it is in heaven.