How People Pleasing Leads to Death

We all like to please people in one way or another. It’s part of our nature. I love to see the smiles on the faces of my loved ones when I do something that makes them proud. It warms my heart. I love to see people happy when I’ve been able to do something good for them, whether that’s giving them a simple hug or spending quality time with them.

What about when we get so stuck on pleasing others we’re actually harming them and ourselves? 

photo credit: _ambrown (creative commons)

When Jesus was turned over to Pilate to be crucified, he could find no fault in Jesus. But he had to worry about pleasing the Roman government. That’s why he was put into that position – to keep the peace. If he went against the people, all hell would break loose and word would get back to the Romans. Pilate was more concerned about politics than doing was was right.

He should have released Jesus the first time his conscience told him Jesus was innocent. Then he had a second opportunity knowing that Roman law said an innocent man should not be put to death. The came the third opportunity in Matthew 27:19:

“While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him the message: ‘Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.'”

Oh how he should have listened to the words of his wife. Pilate had no reason to put Jesus to death, except for fear.

He was afraid of the crowd. 

Oh how many times I have been afraid of the crowd and what they would think of me if I did the right thing. People would laugh. They may hurl insults at me. Perhaps I wouldn’t be invited back. I may lose friends over it.

Instead of making the right decision, he made the cowardly decision not only to turn Jesus over to the people to be crucified, but he even had the tenacity to have him flogged. What a coward!

How does this relate to us today?

  • When you’re more worried about what others will think of you versus calling your friend out on their harmful actions, you are committing murder. You’re killing the opportunity for their growth.
  • If you’re so afraid of conflict that you keep your thoughts inside thinking they’ll go away, you are committing murder. You’re killing yourself and the other person.
  • When you’re too afraid to stand up for the Gospel in front of your friends and peers because it could result in the loss of friendship, you’re committing murder. You are killing your ability to have a deeper relationship with Jesus, the one who died for you, as well as the opportunity for others to have a relationship with him.

You get the idea.

People pleasing may seem like a small thing when you’re in the middle of it, but when you look back on the opportunities you could have had to help someone or yourself, the reality sets in of how powerfully damaging pleasing others can be.

Is it worth it? 

It resulted in the beating and murder of Jesus. Don’t allow your fears to keep you from killing others and yourself.

Is pleasing a crowd more important than pleasing God? 

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  • Julie Cave

    Great post, Sundi Jo!  I have been a people pleaser in the past; glad to say not so much anymore!  I still don’t like conflict, but I’m learning to  handle it in a healthy way.  Thanks for reminding me that Jesus always did what was right, even when it wasn’t popular and ultimately led to His death!

    • Thanks Julie. I don’t care for conflict either. It’s never really fun huh? Waiting for another book from you by the way! 🙂

  • Great post Sundi Jo. 

    Pleasing God is absolutely # 1!

    Am glad that He took my place. And He did, so that i don’t have to be shackled anymore 🙂 

    Happy Easter!