“Pilate was merciful,” said C. S. Lewis, “till it became risky.”

He knew Jesus was innocent, but Pilate was a people pleaser! “Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them.”

As a recovering people pleaser, can I share a few lessons learned?

An insult from a fool may actually be a compliment, and a compliment from a fool may be an insult. Consider the source! Pilate was afraid of the wrong people, the religious leaders. He gave in to a trending hashtag: “Crucify him!”

My advice? Thou shalt offend Pharisees! Jesus did it with great regularity and intentionality. He could have healed on any other day of the week, but He chose the Sabbath. Why? Why not kill two birds with one stone! Heal the man born blind and confront the self-righteousness of the Pharisees while you’re at it.

There is a proverb that I found troubling for many years because it seemed to be contradictory, but truth is found in the tension of opposites. “Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools,” says Proverbs 26:4 (NLT). The very next verse says, “Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools.” Well, which is it? Answer or don’t answer? I hate to break it to you, but if you’re dealing with a fool, it’s a no-win situation! You’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t. You can please some of the people all the time or all the people some of the time, but you can’t please all the people all the time!

I don’t care if your name is Moses and you come down Mount Sinai with stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God—you will still encounter resistance. It’s the diffusion of innovation bell curve. On one end of the bell curve, 16 percent of people will be early adopters. We love early adopters because they jump on the bandwagon, no questions asked. On the other end of the bell curve are the 16 percent of people who are called laggards. They tend to resist change, and that’s frustrating for leaders. But I’ve come to appreciate the resisters because they help refine vision!

Please, Sorry, Thanks: The Three Words That Change Everything; Mark Batterson

We have just released a 8- week study on the topic: Please, Sorry, Thanks. It does not go chapter by chapter through Mark Batterson’s book by the same title. Rather, it deals with similar themes. You can get it on Amazon. It is also available as part of Good Questions Have Groups Talking.