Cosmetics and flowers with the label, She Fears the Lord

Favor, Fairness, or Fear? (Proverbs 31:30)

     What worldly philosophies do we see advertised all the time? “Do this. Buy this. Don’t do that. Try this. If you do that, you will look better. This will make you popular.” We may not see it in so many words, but it’s there. And, we can easily fall into the trap of placing our own worth in what other people think of us. Will this last and satisfy? Let’s see what God’s Word has to say on the subject in Proverbs 31:30.

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

Proverbs 31:30

Hands holding cell phone

1. Popularity is a Sham (Proverbs 31:30)

     Popularity is not what it seems, is it? You’ve probably seen this on the news. Someone gets famous overnight, and just as quickly, everyone forgets about them. Celebrities come and go. They may seem popular for a while, but they get older, lose their youthful appearance, and are soon forgotten about, replaced by rising stars.

     Today, it’s easy for us to get caught up in the popularity of social media — always trying to get just a few more likes and a few more followers. This kind of popularity can be gone in the blink of an eye or change of algorithm. 

     Maybe there was a time that you were popular. There were people who admired you and who you thought would be your good friends forever. Are they still around? So often, friendships come and go. We think people are truly loyal to us, but often, their friendship is not true and lasting. It doesn’t stand the test of time. I’m glad that in all of these discouraging realities, we have the truth of this verse:

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24

2. Living for Popularity Does Not Satisfy

     Even when we seem to be popular, does that satisfy? Popularity cannot meet the deepest needs of our hearts. It is empty. The praise of men can never fill the God-sized hole that each of us has in our hearts.

     This is why even celebrities do not find happiness in popularity and fame. They may look happy on the outside, but deep inside, they are empty. Hollow. Sadly, many of them indulge in terrible sins and even end their own lives. They are miserable because they do find the happiness and fulfillment in popularity they had expected and attempted to gain.

     On a personal level, you and I cannot find happiness in popularity and friendships. If we are seeking fulfillment in what people around us think, we will be miserable. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of “living for the likes.” We post on social media, hoping that we can get a lot of likes for what we say. We try to accomplish things in our lives, hoping that people will notice and praise us for what we did. All of this is empty.

     The praise of men will never and can never bring lasting joy and peace. It is not wrong to seek friendships with other people, and God made us with the desire for community and fellowship. But, even more important than our relationships with people is our relationship with God. Only He can satisfy the needs of our hearts and give us fulfillment.

Lavender themed bath supplies, wash cloths with flower, bath bombs, dropper all for beauty is vain illustration of Proverbs 31:30

3. Beauty is Fading (Proverbs 31:30)

    Beauty. That is just as fleeting as popularity, and in some circles, they go together. Our outward appearance is going to change as we go through life. We are not going to be able to keep the beauty that the world admires and praises. True, many people try to do things to change their appearance, but the truth is, beauty fades.

     Even if we could somehow manage to meet the world’s standard of beauty for our entire lives, what would we gain? We can’t take that with us when we die. Beauty is not going to bring us happiness and fulfillment any more than popularity.

     Of course, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t care at all about our looks. As representatives of the King of kings, we should seek to look presentable and care for ourselves. But, this should not be our main focus and take too much of our time and thoughts.

Twine woven hear with fake flowers and ribbons

4. Our Focus Should Be on the Heart

     All of this may have sounded a little discouraging and negative so far. Popularity is a sham, and beauty is fading. So what should we focus on? Our hearts!

But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

1 Samuel 16:7

     The things that will last are God’s Word and our relationship with Him. We should be focusing on hiding His Word in our hearts and letting Him work in our hearts to make us more like Him.

     We all know that no matter what people may say, beauty is not the most important thing. If someone has a “perfect” face and an ugly heart, their ugly heart will spoil their face. Your attitude is so much more important than your physical appearance.

5. What Does It Mean to Fear the Lord?

     The Proverbs 31 woman is blessed, not because she is necessarily popular or beautiful, but because she fears the Lord. But, what does it mean to the fear the Lord? Well, what does it mean to fear anything? To fear something is to be afraid of it. To be afraid of its power or of what it could do to you.

     Our fear of God should be an awe of Him – of His greatness, power, and holiness. We should also fear and honor the Lord because He has the power to judge us. This fear should help us to avoid sin and in His strength obey Him.

     The fear of God should be based on love. Just as a child is afraid of the consequences if they disobey their parents, so we should be afraid to disobey God. As a child tries to please their parents because they do not want to hurt them with their disobedience, so we should want to please the Lord by obeying Him.

Lavender lying on Bible

6. What Does Fearing the Lord not Mean?

     Satan tries to make us fear the Lord with an unhealthy fear not based on love. He wants us to view God as standing over us, just waiting for us to do something wrong so that He can punish us. This is not Who God is. He is a God of love Who wants us to do right and takes no delight in punishing us. Since He is a just God, He does have to punish sin, but He does not want to have to do this. He would much rather us walk in obedience and have His smile of approval upon us.

     That is why He sent Jesus, so that through this His death and life, we could be saved from our sins and in the power of His Holy Spirit live above them. Our reverential fear of God should be based on love. We should remember His great love to us, and respond to Him in love, asking Him to put His love in our hearts so that we can give it back to Him.

7. We Must Fear the Lord (Proverbs 31:30)

     The Proverbs 31 woman is focused on what is truly important in life. She knows that popularity is deceitful and beautiful appearances do not last. She is concerned with the things that are true and last forever. This is why she fears the Lord. She seeks to honor Him with her life. Her thoughts, her words, and her actions, are focused on honoring the Lord, bringing Him glory, and being pleasing in His sight.

     These feelings do not come naturally. It is much more in human nature for us to worry about what people think of us and what we look like than it is for us to fear the Lord. We cannot do this in our own strength. It is only as we yield ourselves to the Lord each day and ask Him to live His perfect life through us that we can please Him and bring Him glory.

Bible lying open

8. The Fear of the Lord Brings Lasting Blessing (Proverbs 31:30)

     As we already pointed out, popularity and good looks don’t last. But, there is something that does last, and that is our relationship with the Lord. Not only does it last, but it also brings lasting rewards with it. If we are faithful in the Lord’s strength to fear Him and live our lives for His glory, then one day we will hear Him say: Well done thou good and faithful servant.

     Heaven is just as real as earth, even though we can’t see it yet, and it is more important. Since Heaven is where we are going to spend eternity, let’s lay up our treasures there instead of seeking temporary popularity and pleasure here on earth.

His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Matthew 25:23

Simple Takeaway

  1. Popularity and physical beauty neither last nor satisfy.
  2. We should fear God and honor Him out of hearts of love in return for the love He shows us.
  3. Our relationship with God will last and reap eternal dividends.

Let’s Chat!

     What are some ways we can put our relationship with the Lord first? Do you have any examples to share of what it means to fear God?

     Until next time, fear the Lord out of a loving heart!

In Christ,


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  1. Thank you for this reminder, Bethany!

    1. You’re so welcome, Agape! Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. God bless you as you serve Him!

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