roadHuman beings tend to be people-pleasers. In general, we don’t want to do anything or say anything that would cause distress or “rock the boat.”  So, instead of risking an upset, we say or do nothing. It’s easier, we say, to just maintain the status quo. It is “nicer,” we say to ourselves, to remain where we are than to risk move forward.

But I have been convinced over the years, that peace and progress are incompatible. In other words, if you want to keep the peace, do nothing that would move forward because moving forward will upset someone. On the other hand, if you want to progress, expect the peace to be unsettled.  Again, you will upset someone.

The fact is, we cannot please everyone, even though everyone expects to be “pleased.”  But buying into the idea that we can – and should – make everyone happy is a losing battle.  Such thinking holds us hostage to small-mindedness and fear. And it holds us hostage to those who are displeased. “Peace mongers” (those who seek peace at the expense of progress) often cause stagnation in a church – or any organization – because they do not want to risk upsetting anyone or anything. They are often controlling, attempting to stop any sort of progress so that no one gets upset and people (especially themselves!) remain comfortable. Therefore, they do all they can to sabotage any forward movement.

Look at Jesus’ own ministry. At no time did Jesus allow anyone to keep him from advancing his work for the Kingdom. Many tried to stop him, many tried to “keep the peace,” many tried to convince Jesus to maintain the status quo.

But Jesus knew better. He knew that peace and progress cannot live together. And he let nothing and no one stand in his way…even if it meant losing a follower. He kept his eye on the larger picture (which is impossible for “peace-mongers”), and let that picture guide his every step, until the goal had been attained.

I thank God Jesus did not let those who wanted to keep the peace stand in the way of his mission…else our salvation would have been forfeited. I am thankful that Jesus kept pressing onward, even in the face of stiff opposition.

Ask yourself, “Where do I stand? Do I stand for peace at all cost? Or do I work for progress toward the goal God has set before us?”

You cannot have it both ways.