- the influence exerted by a peer group in encouraging a person to change his or her attitudes, values, or behavior in order to conform to group norms
- This can be negative or it can even be positive…
When I started looking into peer pressure it is amazing how much I found. Did you know there are over 300 pages on Facebook that have Peer Pressure in the title? Some were for peer pressure, some were against it and some it was the name of a business. Very weird!
Teens today have it hard. But so do we. Another term for adult peer pressure might be “Keeping up with the Joneses”
Everybody wants to be loved and accepted. It is only natural to desire approval, affection & good will of our friends.
You might think that peer pressure doesn’t affect you like it does others..but you’ll be surprised at how easy we are misled with the little things. And those little things will lead to bigger things.
Keep in mind that it is not always evil people out to get you.
It’s Usually People you know – it may be mere acquaintances, close friends, family, neighbors, coworkers or your boss or leader. It could even be people at church.
In Daniel chapter 2 the story of King Nebuchadnezzar and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego or even Daniel and the lion’s den in Daniel chapter 6 – the king was Daniel’s boss and planned on putting Daniel in charge of the whole kingdom! He felt the pressure to conform and not pray to God…but he didn’t.
Another thing to keep in mind is that it is not usually just once it is usually- Day after day Ask your self– is this happening frequently?
I have a couple of examples of this - first let’s Look at Esther 3:4 –“Day after day they spoke to him but he refused to comply.”
Mordecai was asked to bow day after day. You’d think he would get tired of it happening.
Here is another example - Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife in Genesis 39:1-10 we all know the story of Potiphar’s wife tempting Joseph but let’s look at verse 10 “And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.”
Again day after day. Could you imagine the pressure he must have felt. Both of the men so far were feeling the pressure to conform and do what someone else wanted.
Now I have another example with a not so good outcome –
the story of Delilah and Sampson – in Judges Chapter 16:16 “With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it.”
And he finally gave in!
This is what we all want to avoid.
Here are 5 Things to help keep you as far from the bad peer pressure as you can.
1. Keep the right friends/ or avoid people who might corrupt you -
1 Corinthians 15:33-34, Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character." Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God-I say this to your shame. NIV
Exodus 23:2 (NIV) “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd,
2 Thessalonians 3:6-7 (NLT) And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us. For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you.
Psalm 1:1 (TNIV) Blessed are those who do not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,Proverbs 12:26 (NKJV) The righteous should choose his friends carefully,
For the way of the wicked leads them astray.
2. Avoid the things that tempt you to sin. This is an obvious one and yet it can be the hardest sometimes.
Matthew 26:41 (NLT) “Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”
Proverbs 1:10 TNIV “My son, if sinful men entice you, do not give in to them.”
Proverbs 4:14-15 (TNIV) Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way.
Praying and staying in the word is going to make this step easier. Which leads me to =
3. Pray and know the Word of GOD!
Psalm 1:2 delight in the law of the LORD and meditate on his law day and night.I can’t say this one enough. Keeping your mind on God and continuously praying is the only way we are too keep ourselves pure and holy.
Thank Him for keeping you from the things that are tempting you ahead of the temptation. If you know you are having trouble with cigarettes for example. Thank Him for taking the temptation of the
Thank You Lord!
Colossians 4:2 and 4 “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.”
Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
4. Know that God will rescue you -
2 Peter 2:9 (NLT) So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while keeping the wicked under punishment until the day of final judgment.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
5. Help lift one another up, not knock down –Hebrews 10:24(TNIV)“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,”
Ephesians 4:32 “ And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God in Christ forgave you.
Colossians 4:6 “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”
Let us not put peer pressure on our friends! This seems logical but really we want to fit in and we want others to do what we do! But consider what you are asking of your friends and neighbors- is it right? And is it going to help or hinder them?
As women we need to be careful what we say because sometimes it can really be hurtful…not only to our friends but our spouses too! Don’t you think we sometimes put pressure on our spouses to conform to our way of thinking – cuz you know we are always right! All kidding aside. This is peer pressure!
Proverbs 14:1NIV) The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
We need to Dare to be different, Dare to Be RightIt is easy to stand with the crowd, but it takes courage to stand alone!
Romans 12:2 (NKJV)And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
When ridiculed for being a Christian; for standing for sound doctrine – Count it an honor to stand with Christ! Not alone!
What do you want the most: To be popular & accepted by men, or to be right with God?
You Will need: Self-control, prayer, persistence.
Shift desire for approval from earth to heaven.
Seek heavenly approval rather than earthly!
Seek to please God before men –
Don’t be ashamed of Christ –
Mark 8:38The Message
"If any of you are embarrassed over me and the way I'm leading you when you get around your fickle and unfocused friends, know that you'll be an even greater embarrassment to the Son of Man when he arrives in all the splendor of God, his Father, with an army of the holy angels."
Are you willing to be different? To be Right? To Not be ashamed of Christ? Are you willing to stand up to peer pressure that is pressing on you? Are you willing to be different for Him?
That is all He asks for. To stand up for Him!