We should follow God’s commandments regardless of how others may react. The reaction of others cannot compare to our disobeying God’s commandments. Disobeying His commandments is worse because God has the power to “destroy our soul and body in hell” (1). Disobedience of God’s commandments is a spiritual problem. However, we, as humans, sometimes do not see disobedience this way.
Today, our obedience to God might not cause physical death but, more subtle and dangerous, spiritual death—a disconnection with God’s will for our lives. We sometimes think we can curb obedience because of our fear of losing earthly aspirations. If God, for example, tells me to preach, but I do not preach because I fear that it will stop me from pursuing my career, I have now disobeyed God for fear of losing not my physical life but my earthly desires.
We see such earthly aspirations in Scripture, in people like king Zedekiah and the Pharisees. They knew and believed that God commanded true and beneficial actions. However, they feared the ridicule of people instead of God’s judgment (2). Therefore, since they feared people’s judgment instead of God’s, they disobeyed His commands. When we live according to the fear of people or losing our desires, we do not trust that God will take care of us and end up disobeying Him.
God’s judgment should be the only thing we fear because He is God, and we cannot forget that God created us, the universe, and the earth (3). God’s commands are always for our benefit, even if we do not understand what those benefits are (4). Knowing that God loves us and cares for us should encourage us (despite our reasoning the “pros and cons”) to obey Him and not fear the results or people’s reactions. As we live, we want a God-outcome, not an earthly one. When we seek a God-outcome, we know that it is the outcome that God destined us to experience.
(1) Matthew 10:28.
(2) Jeremiah 38:19; John 12:42-43; John 19:12-13.
(3) Isaiah 51:13.
(4) Jeremiah 29:11.