Peer Pressure


What are the dangers of giving in to peer pressure?

BIBLE READING: Matthew 14:1-12

KEY BIBLE VERSE: The king was sorry, but because of his oath and because he didn’t want to back down in front of his guests, he issued the necessary orders. (Matthew 14:9)

Peer pressure often leads to bad decision making. Herod did not want to kill John the Baptist, but he gave the order so that he wouldn’t be embarrassed in front of his guests. How easy it is to give in to the crowd and to be pressured into doing wrong. Don’t get in a situation where it will be too embarrassing to do what is right. Determine to do what is right, no matter how embarrassing or painful it may be.

BIBLE READING: Luke 23:13-25

KEY BIBLE VERSE: The crowd shouted louder and louder for Jesus’ death, and their voices prevailed. So Pilate sentenced Jesus to die as they demanded. (Luke 23:23-24)

Peer pressure can cause us to lose sight of the truth. When the stakes are high, it is difficult to stand up for what is right, and it is easy to see our opponents as problems to be solved rather than as people to be respected. Had Pilate been a man of real courage, he would have released Jesus no matter what the consequences. But the crowd roared, and Pilate buckled. We are like Pilate when we know what is right but decide not to do it. When you have a difficult decision to make, don’t discount the effects of peer pressure. Realize beforehand that the right decision could have unpleasant consequences: social rejection, career derailment, public ridicule. Then think of Pilate and resolve to stand up for what is right, no matter what other people pressure you to do.

BIBLE READING: 2 Cor. 6:3-13

KEY BIBLE VERSE: We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. (2 Cor. 6:8)

Peer pressure can rob us of our joy in Christ. What a difference it makes to know Jesus! He cares for us in spite of what the world thinks. Christians don’t have to give in to public opinion and pressure. Paul stood faithful to God whether people praised him or condemned him. He remained active, joyous, and content in the most difficult hardships. Don’t let circumstances or people’s expectations control you. Be firm as you stand true to God, and refuse to compromise his standards for living.