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Say Yes to Saying No

Mark 15 opens with the high priests bringing Jesus to Pilate. The priests wanted Jesus dead and refused to stop until He hung on a cross. Pilate knew the accusations against Jesus were false, and he was amazed Jesus let the priests throw Him under the bus for treason and for crimes He hadn’t committed.

“Crucify Him!” the crowd screamed when Pilate offered to let Jesus go free.

“Crucify Him!” the crowd roared as Pilate again encouraged them to let Jesus go. As the crowd shouted, Pilate caved and condemned Jesus to death.

We all know how it feels to be caught in the middle. Your spouse wants to take a cruise, but your family is giving you guilt trips about coming home. Your supervisor tells you to set up the display one way, but the memo from your district manager shows the display another way. The stress we feel in those moments comes from a desire to please everyone around us.

When we make the desire to please others more important than doing what’s right, it wreaks havoc in our lives. When we cave to people-pleasing, we sacrifice the ability to influence people. Pilate chose the crowd’s opinion over what He knew was right and lost the chance to take a stand.

Few of us know what it’s like to be a judge, but we do know what it’s like to let friends, co-workers and teammates dictate what we think, say or do. Too often, we let what others think determine the careers we choose, the friends we make or the relationships we break.

It’s time to stop trying to please others, and live for the one who is already pleased with us. God loves you fully and completely. What kind of change could we make if we started loving others the same way?


  • Do you feel the need to please others in your life? Why or why not?
  • How can you shift your focus from others’ opinions to God’s plan for your life?
  • What’s one way you’ve seen the desire to please others wreak havoc in your life?

You can read more about the book of Mark here

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