When People Are Big God is Small by Edward Welch

The title of this book sums up the books thesis: fear of man make people big and God small. And that is not a good thing!


The book provides seven steps to combat the fear of people:

1. Recognize that the fear of man is a major theme both in the Bible and in your own life.

2. Identify where your fear of man has been intensified by people in your past.

3. Identify where your fear of man has been intensified by the assumptions of the world.

4. Understand and grow in the fear of the Lord. The person who fears God will fear nothing else

5. Examine where your desires have been too big. Where we fear people, people are big, our desires are even bigger and God is small.

6. Rejoice that God has covered your shame, protected you from danger and accepted you. He has filled you with his love.

. Need other people less; love other people more. Out of obedience to Christ and as a response to his love towards you, pursue others in love.


This is a ‘must read’ book. The person who recommended it to me, requires his interns to read this book before they even begin the internship – a large paper responding to this book is also required! 


There is great gems of wisdom here. I’ll recount two of them.


Remembering a PTA meeting that he and his wife sat through, the school stated that bolstering self esteem was a ket goal of theirs. Welch writes:


“Doesn’t the teaching of self-esteem and its emphasis on self seem to make the problem worse? That was certainly my experience. When I tried to raise my own self-esteem, it just led to painful self-consciousness and further individualism. Even from a secular perspective the self-esteem teaching seems suspect. Don’t we do children a disservice by showering them with unearned approval? The self respect the schools are seeking to bestow comes only as a person develops a growing ability to meet difficult tasks, risk failure and overcome obstacles. You can’t simply confer self-esteem upon a another person. To assume that other people can control our view of ourselves is what creates low self-esteem in the first place!”


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