Do you crack easily under pressure?
It’s easy to crack under pressure when we are facing a crowd. It’s especially easy if we tend to be people pleasers. If we are honest with ourselves we hate the thought of those words and the images it conjures up in our minds. I was reading in my devotional time the other day and came across a serial people pleaser and thought I would share it with my readers.
In the New Testament we can find plenty of people pleasers but there is one that stands out the most in my mind. I would have to say that Pilate was the most prolific one of the bunch. Read this short account of what happened:
“Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.” Mark 15:15
Pilate was a politician and government official. He was a civil servant (I would use the term servant loosely) whose job was to oversee and help people. It’s easy to be a people pleaser when you’re constantly trying to help people. As a pastor, it’s easy for me to get caught up into this trap. In fact, I struggle with this because I want to help people and I have an insatiable need to be liked. If you’re honest, you would probably admit this as well.
When we give in to the cultural pressure around us it can often lead to death and hurt for people. I wonder how many times I’ve tried to satisfy the “crowd” in my life even though it wasn’t what was best or right? Unfortunately, our insecurities often lead us to give in to the demands and desires of others.
My pastor constantly reminds us as leaders that we have to do what is right over what is popular. It takes courage to go against the flow. What can we expect from people if we go against the crowd?
•We will be in the minority and not the crowd.
•It might cost us our popularity.
•People will be angry with us.
•People will misunderstand us.
•People will question our loyalty.
•People will question your motives.
It takes courage to do what is right over what is popular. When we make the hard decisions we need to be prepared to follow through with them. Always remember that the long term benefits of discipline outweigh the short term costs of comfort. (I would read that last statement again!) Ask the Lord for the faith and courage to follow through on not being a people pleaser.
What are some practical steps you can take to avoid being a people pleaser? Please leave a comment below.
I'm a pastor, writer and serial encourager. I like to help people to grow in their relationship with God. I live outside of Atlanta, GA. I've written a book, Stubborn Faith: 30 Day Devotional Guide For New Growth. It's available for download on Amazon. Feel free to follow me on Twitter at @ericspeir