Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, Leadership, Soul Winning

No Peer Pressure

Peer pressure is a hard thing to conquer when in the teen years but it also still somewhat tries to control us even as we grow older.  I am guessing around the age of fifty do we really get over the fear of peer pressure, at least I think it might be completely gone by then.  All during this time in our life you’re figuring out who you are, what you believe, what you’re good at, what your responsibilities are, and what your place in the world is going to be.  Peer pressure comes when you want to be liked, to fit in because we worry that other people may think about us.  These remarks or perceptions may influence some to leave their better judgment, or their common sense, behind and also hinder our own goals and choices we want to make in life.  We must pay attention to our own feelings and beliefs about what is right and wrong so we can choose to do the right thing. Inner strength and self-confidence can help you stand firm, walk away, and resist doing something when you know better and this help comes from knowing God and having a right relationship in faith with Him.  It can really help to have other people surrounding us with the same beliefs. This takes a lot of the power out of peer pressure and makes it much easier to resist. It’s great to have friends with values similar to yours who will back you up when you don’t want to do something. That is why when Jeff and I came into the church to live a Christian lifestyle we made new friends in the church.  We no longer spent time with others who continued the sinful lifestyle that we wanted no part of in fear of falling back into old habits. It wasn’t that we befriended them or no longer cared for them but it was a way to strengthen our own walk with Jesus as a new believer.  We knew we would struggle with temptations if we didn’t sell out to obedience to Christ completely.

When you were a little kid, your parents usually chose your friends, putting you in play groups or arranging playdates with certain children they knew and liked.   As one gets older, you decide who your friends are and what groups you spend time with whether Christian or not.  You and your friends make dozens of decisions every day, and you influence each other’s choices and behaviors. This is often positive — it’s human nature to listen to and learn from other people in your age group or those who you are around most.  The old saying goes, “If you hang out with dogs, you are going to get fleas.”

I find it quite interesting when people come into church and continue to wallow around in sinful ways that they know better.  They continue to hang around old friends who have bad morals or do things that are contrary to the Word.  These are the ones who still have a problem with knowing who they are in Christ and dealing with pressure from friends, or fear of rejection from others.   Their lives are far from having internal peace or joy but filled with pleasures of this world to try to fill the void.

How do we turn this all around for the good.  Unity and fellowship with other Christians is a must.  You might not hear a lot about it, but peers have a profoundly positive influence on each other and play important roles in each other’s lives, for instance, a lasting friendship, positive examples or accountability partner, feedback and advice, encouragement and new experiences.

In Romans 4 and 5 we read about God’s promises was for Abraham even before he was obedient with the covenant and all he needed was faith.  The same is true for all of us.  God has promises waiting for us and it starts with faith to believe in Him.   It comes in hoping things will get better and better in life.

Faith Brings Joy New Living Translation (©2007)

1Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

3We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

6When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus I pray as we discover you more and more, our faith will increase, our lives will change and we will know who we are and what we are called to do for your kingdom.  Give us others to help us along the way with positive influence.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

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