This week (June 20th, to be exact) marks two years since my daughters and I launched girltalk. For those of you who have been reading this blog from the beginning or even if you’ve been following along only for a short while, probably know this about us: We love to recommend good books! From as early as the second day of this blog’s commencement, we were offering book suggestions for your summer reading. A year ago, as a way to promote the pleasurable discipline of reading, we inaugurated The Girltalk Book Club (of which we are presently reading our third book together.) As recently as yesterday, we were commending a book for your children. And for as long as it is God’s will that we continue this blog, we will advocate buying and reading good books —books that point us to The Greatest Book of all.
All this to say: I have another book recommendation for you today – a must have for your library. Yes, I know… today is Friday, book club day…and we are supposed to be talking about chapter two of our current selection: Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart. Actually, it was our reading assignment this past week that got me thinking about the invaluable resource of good books. John Ensor makes the following observation in his second chapter, “What the Heart Wants:”
“I am a sinful man subject to temptations and an insecure man subject to the need for peer approval. This need for approval from others (in the Bible it is called the fear of man) is the point of entry for most sin. It is the breach in our nature by which sin recruits and makes new disciples” (p. 34).
The fear of man is “the point of entry for most sin.” Did you catch that the first time? It was easy to miss in a chapter so densely packed with wisdom as this one. And yet, the implications of this truth reach far beyond matters of the heart and affect every area of our lives. The fear of man, the desire for the approval of others, the attraction to those things that “attractive” people say are attractive (even if they defy God’s Word) is a powerful motivator in our lives.
Consider for a moment: Is there any sin in your life—in your relationships, your job, your hobbies, your money, your time, that you are pursuing because of the fear of man—because the world around you gives this desire, its stamp of approval?
If you think this may be so, here’s where my book recommendation comes in. Because this topic of “the fear of man” is thoroughly and biblically addressed in When People Are Big and God is Small by Ed Welch.
Many of you may have already read this book, but even so, may I encourage you to reread it at the conclusion of our book club? Because John Ensor is on to something—if we want to do things right in all matters of life, we must heed the warnings of Scripture and beware the snare of the fear of man (Pr. 29:25).