A question peer pressure makes us choose between!
If Christians were to vote on whom they will serve for the rest their lives, which stand do you anticipate will have the most votes?
Stand A: I choose to serve the Lord God Almighty in return for the amputation of my arms and legs no matter how difficult life may become.
Stand B: I choose to serve the gods of this land in return for a monthly allowance of £10m, free NHS care for my entire family, free education at university, 5 bundles of 24’’ human hair each month, video games every Christmas, the latest car and phone that is in vogue each year and a one-week return ticket to any holiday destination of my choice.
Best believe that the incentives and pleasures the world offers are well pleasing to the eyes, too captivating to neglect. It is shocking to know that a large number of Christians would opt for Stand B in their regular day to day lives due to influence from peers and circumstances.
It is quite surprising how we compromise our Christian faith for worldly pleasures that are fleeting.
1 John 2.15-17 makes it clear, “not to love the world or anything that belongs to the world. If you love the world you do not love the father. Everything that belongs to the world; what the sinful self-desires, what people see and want…none of this comes from the father; it all comes from the world. The world and everything is passing away; but those who do the will of God live for ever”.
The story of Daniel can be related to the aforementioned Bible text. To clarify, Daniel, Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego refused to adhere to the decree issued by King Nebuchadnezzar, that is, to bow down to the gods or worship the golden image (Daniel 3:16-18). Thus, this portrayed their firm, unshakeable faith in the Lord despite how perilous their decision seemed to be. Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego were unperturbed to burn in the flaming fire for God. They did all they could not to compromise their faith to worship a powerless god. How many of us would have taken that bold step to stand for our faith?
Yes, the materialistic things and activities of the world are alluring yet temporary and that is the reason why the Lord gives us an eternal promise that His word will remain forever. It is either you make a choice to be of this world or serve the Lord. Realistically, it is impossible to have your cake and eat it too. I cannot stress enough God’s disapproval of Christians living a double lifestyle as we see in Revelations 3:16. In as much as we live in this world, we are not supposed to be of this world.
Most Christians have the notion that non-believers are more likely to be the victims of peer pressure. Let us bear in mind that as followers of Christ, our faith will be tested in many ways. The story of Job in the bible, is a typical example of our faith at test. Although, Job was a faithful servant of God, the Lord granted the devil assent in testing him. As a result he encountered major calamities in his life. However, Job stood his ground and affirmed that he would trust in the Lord at all times. How many of us would have question our faith at the point, after loosing your family and business etc. Some of us question God if we miss our bus!
The Good news is, Job’s faith was anchored in the Lord ,which caused him to stand firm through the raging storm he encountered. He proved to be a faithful servant of God and did not succumb to the negative influence from those around him.
The devil knows his time is running out; so the influence from our peers and surroundings is dramatically increased! Haven’t you noticed?
Growing up in a Christian home, I was never granted the chance to experience the lifestyle of drinking, clubbing, etc. I always thought my parents were being too harsh and over-protective. Looking back now, I am grateful to the Lord for how he used my parents in raising me because it has been of much benefit ever since I moved to university.
Peer pressure is quite predominant among Christians, especially Christian students in university. Speaking from an experience, we are exposed to friends from different religious backgrounds and from all walks of life, who have an impact on our lives one way or the other.
I personally did not want people to identify me as ‘a church girl’! So, I decided that I was going to try and fit in during fresher’s week. The thought of being prisoned in my room as my mates experienced the life of being a fresher was unbearable. So I joined the crowd…
I was conscious of my promise to the Lord; not to be promiscuous when I came to Uni. However, the pressure of being accepted and trying to convince others that I could have fun in the world regardless of being a church girl was demanding. ‘God will forgive me”, that was my go-to excuse I came up with in order to supress my guilt whenever I went for a night out.
Months later, I realised the futility of living a DOUBLE LIFE. To clarify, clubbing on Saturday nights meant that you were not going to find me attending church the next day, which in the long run caused a drift in my relationship with God.
However, I soon learnt that it is rewarding to be strong in the faith. Being a Christian is traditionally believed to be ‘boring and strict’ but trust me it is exciting once your cross over from religion to relationship. This is when peer pressure begins to have less effect on you. I urge you not give room for unbelievers to lure you into having more interest for things of this world. Remember, bad company corrupts good habits! (1 Corinthians 15:33). What this world offers cannot be compared to the treasures of Heaven.
I want to encourage you that it is okay to be yourself! Not partaking in a lifestyle that you do not agree with does not make you any less of a person. Remember, your approval is not from man but God. (Galatians 1:10)
Do not lose your soul for the world. Be a light and do not allow darkness to overshadow you.
Tell me about your experiences of overcoming peer pressure in the comment section below!
Thanks for reading!