Loving human praise
Read this passage from John 12:
Isaiah said these things because he saw Jesus' glory; he spoke about Jesus. Even so many leaders believed in him, but they wouldn't acknowledge their faith because they feared that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. They believed, but they loved human praise more than God's glory. (John 12: 41-43)I understand how frightening it would be to contemplate expulsion from the community with which you identify yourself. I'm not trivializing their reactions.
For us, though, do you think that sometimes we fail to speak about Jesus, or proclaim God's presence because we are afraid of what others might think? We fear not being liked, or being ridiculed for our faith, or just not garnering praise. Do we fail to shine forth as beacons of light because we are worried about another person's opinion of us?