Many people have memories of dealing with some form of peer pressure in high school. People in their 30s-40s dealt with it mostly at school as we didn’t have Social Media back then. We suffered through the week and, if we were fortunate, could go all weekend without being bothered.
These days, now that is a completely different story. The pressure to fit in starts way younger. Anyone with access to a smartphone or computer, data, and apps can’t get away from peer pressure unless they turn their devices off. Kiddos, I feel for you. I can’t imagine having to constantly deal with what you deal with these days. Adults, all you have to do is log into Instagram on your kids account to see what I am talking about. Go ahead. Log into their Instagram and you will see it.
I am talking about passive peer pressure. What is that you may ask? Passive peer pressure happens when you see what other people are doing or wearing over and over and it sways you to do something you do not want to do. Some internet famous persons get famous by showing skin or engaging in sinful activities. They gain a whole bunch of followers by engaging in activity they should not and, well it causes a bit of envy and you may wonder how they do it or if you did it if you could get famous…well, you are being pressured (passively).
You are being swayed to do something you do not want to do; you are being manipulated just like active peer pressure only passive peer pressure is more subtle. You may not be getting teased, threatened, laughed at, mocked or bribed, but you are still being pressured to do something you would not normally think of doing.
Passive peer pressure can sneak up on you and before you know it, BOOM! you are engaging in things you never dreamed you would be. You are joining the flock looking for some earthly reward instead of dealing with things looking for that heavenly reward.
Maybe you have those friends in your life who engage in sinful activities that they tell you about. You think that you will never do those things, you are being a listening ear, showing support. Until that day when you are with those friends and you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Until that day when you are with those friends and something happens that should not have. You are in a situation where you must make a decision. What then? Have you thought of that? Have you thought of how you are dealing with your friends? Are they leading you towards hell or are you leading them towards heaven? Is your focus on pleasing people or pleasing God?
While you are thinking on that, let us look at the Biblical example of Moses and see how he dealt with passive peer pressure.
Pull up Exodus chapter 2 to find the account of Moses as a baby and young adult. The Pharaoh of Egypt was having all boys killed when they were born, so Moses’ parents had his sister put him in a basket and place it in the river. The daughter of Pharaoh was bathing in the river and she was the one who found him. She took him in and raised him as her own son. The kicker is Moses’ birth mother was hired to be his nursemaid!
When Moses was grown, he decided to follow God instead of staying in the palace where he lived a life full of riches and luxury. Hebrews 11:24 says he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. It may sound easy to us but think about it…Moses was raised as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He would have been around these people who were used to getting their way, who had servants at their beck and call, who considered themselves above others. Do you not think he dealt with passive peer pressure? Absolutely he did!
Let us look at the facts. Moses was raised in the Egyptian palace. He was considered the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He was around wealth, power, and the best of the best of everything. Yet, he chose to follow God. He could have taken the easy and safe route and stayed in the palace. He could have followed the wealth and power that came with his status. But he did not.
How did he manage this? My studies tell me that while Moses’ mother was his nursemaid, she (and others of his family) taught him about God and instilled a love for God above man in him. Parents – should we not do the same for our children?
The Old Testament is here for our learning, correct (Romans 15:4)? Leviticus 10:11 is clear. So is Deuteronomy 4:10. Both these verses instruct all people to teach their children the words of God. Back then it would have been the Law of Moses. Today we are under the Law of Christ. We can find the Law of Christ in the pages of the New Testament.
It is our responsibility as parents, to study the Law of Christ. It is also our responsibility as parents to teach our children the Law of Christ. We should follow the example of Moses’ mother and teach our children about God and to instill a love for God above all in their hearts. Maybe you are not a parent but have children in your life. You are to be the same example God requires parents to be. Yes. You don’t get a free pass just because you are not the parent.
How can we teach our children to love God above all else? By showing them this very thing active in our own daily lives. We, as the adult must love God above all else.
If you happen to be a young one reading this article, please take my advice. Look at the people you are friends with and ask yourself (be very honest) are your friends helping you get to Heaven or are they leading you further away from God.
Pull up your social media. Look at who you are following. Do they post things that are sinful? Do they post pictures of themselves in skimpy clothing or of them and another person engaged in some form of sexual activity whether it is kissing, laying in a bed together or something else?
Ask yourself if this is what you want to see. Are you being careful with your eyes?
Ask yourself if you would wear the outfits they have on in front of your preacher. Better yet, would you wear the outfit if Jesus was in the same room with you? (Because He is.) Would you feel like it was appropriate?
Ask yourself if you would feel comfortable in the same room with them while they are engaging in the activities they post. Picture yourself sitting on a couch in that same room with your parents or grandparents, or preacher while these internet famous people are in bed with someone. Would you think that was ok? Or would you be embarrassed?
Sin is what nailed our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to the cross. Do not take pleasure in those things that cost Him His Life.
Colossians 3:5-17 is clear. We are to mortify (cut out) our members which are upon the earth. We are to “put to death” those sinful desires and feelings we may have or once had. We are to put on those things that bring honor and glory to Christ.
Verse 14 says to put on love above all these things being followed up by verse 15 telling us to let the peace of God rule in our hearts. I look at verse 17 and get hit square in the face. You know what I mean? When you read or hear something, and a light goes off in your head? It says, “And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.” Wow. Do ALL in the name of the Lord Jesus? Everything??? Yes, absolutely.
Ask yourself two final questions. Am I taking pleasure in those things that nailed my Lord to the cross? And if so, what should I do to stop?
If the answer is yes to the first question, you can above all else, pray about it. Pray to God for strength to allow His will to be done in your life. Ask for his guidance to get you through. Then, stop following those people who post sinful things. Remove them from your page. You can distance yourself from your friends. Be honest with them. Tell them you don’t like the person you are when you’re around them. I am not suggesting it will be easy. The right road is not always the easiest road to take. Some would say it is never the easiest road.
You must remember you are blessed. You have Christ who will never leave or forsake you unless you want Him to. (Hebrews 13:5)
Yes, you can push Christ out of your mind, your heart and your life. You have that choice, to serve Satan instead of Christ. We each can decide the road we will take. Christ does not want that but know that He did not create robots. He gave us free will. He will never force Himself on us. We must have that pure love come from our hearts. Our inner being.
Please understand there is nothing more important in this life than going to Heaven and taking others with you. Know this, it will not be handed to you on a silver platter. You must do your part. Do not fool yourself into believing that Christ died for you and that you don’t have to do anything. Study the Bible. Know what it takes to get to heaven.
I am including the steps of salvation, but I want you to study for yourself. Not for me. For you.
1. Hear the Gospel. (Romans 10:17, John 8:32)
2. Believe the Gospel (Hebrews 11:6, John 20:31)
3. Repent of past sins (Luke 13:3, Acts 17:30)
4. Confess faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:10, Matthew 10:32)
5. Be Baptized (Galatians 3:27, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38)
6. Be faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10)
Know what you know because you know it and not because you heard some man or woman say it.
Your very soul depends on it.
In Christian Love, Leah Brewer