In the account of Jesus' trial before Pilate in the Gospel of Mark chapter fifteen, we read these words in verse fifteen: "So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified." Reads those words again, and now answer these questions: Why did Pilate give-in to the pressure of the Chief Priests (whom he held power over)? Why did Pilate condemn an innocent man (Jesus) to death? Why did Pilate go against his own judgment that Jesus had done nothing wrong? Simply answered, he did so to please the crowd.
I can identify with Pilate this morning. I am a people pleaser. I am one of those folks who want the crowd to be satisfied, and when the crowd is not pleased, I lose sleep over it. How about you? Is pleasing others ever the source of your motivation? If we are not careful, pleasing people can lead us down the wrong path. In order to please the crowd, we can go against our better judgment. More importantly, we can go against God's will in order to please the crowd.
Examine your life today. Do you help others and volunteer your time out of love and compassion or out of a desire to please others? Do you make decisions based upon the truth and what is right, or do you make decisions based on what your peers think is best? Consider these questions today, and ask God in prayer to give you the strength to follow His commands and not the commands of other human beings.