Peer Pressure Grows Up
The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted. PROVERBS 29:25
I used to think peer pressure only showed up in parenting books and situations facing teenagers. I thought it was something you outgrew. But I remember sitting in a business meeting with a roomful of Christian leaders and being asked to vote on a particular issue. The man seated next to me—a very good friend of mine—held a strong opinion that was different from mine. And during the debate that ensued, I chose to keep silent about my convictions. Finally, we were asked to stand up to indicate a yes vote on the measure.
My friend stood quickly to his feet. He wasn’t the only one. Many others were rising in support.
I can still feel the rumblings that clashed inside me. Even though I’m against this, I thought, how can I stay seated when one of my best friends is standing—when this whole place appears to be standing?
So I did what every preadolescent and teenager is tempted to d I caved in, and I stood up. And from that vantage point, I could clearly see two who remained seated, opposing the motion. Just two. I still remember them because of their courage and convictions.
Peer pressure. It happens, not just in school locker rooms and hallways, but around the lunch table with work associates, in the homes of people who are more affluent, during adult conversations when you don’t want to admit who you really are or what you truly believe. The fear of being different or disagreeable doesn’t leave you when you reach adulthood. It changes clothes but keeps the same skeleton.
What I needed that day was integrity. I needed the character to vote for what I knew was right.
Be honest: Where are you still susceptible to peer pressure? Do you need to go against the herd today on some issues that you’re facing?
Pray the same prayer you may have prayed as a teenager—that God will give you convictions so that you can stand firm.