I thought that peer pressure was only for kids. Really, I did. Like once you became a young adult, say between the ages of 17-21, you’re pretty much “home free” from having to deal with pressure from your peers.
Not true at all. So, this may be a release for a young adult who is currently dealing with peer pressure. Maybe you think your parent or grandparent never deals with peer pressure and won’t be able to relate to you.
Well, unfortunately, no matter how old you are, you will experience peer pressure. But the good news is, when you mature in your spiritual walk with Christ and understand that you don’t have to conform to what other people are trying to get you to do, there is a peace that you will rest in.
Who’s Applying the Peer Pressure?
Peer pressure as a kid feels like you have to do what others want because most kids don’t know their options. We all have to be taught how to handle peer pressure.
The first rule-of-thumb deals with the company that we keep. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.” So, check your friends. I say that loosely because real friends will not pressure you into doing something that makes you uncomfortable.
Furthermore, if they know your character and personal beliefs when it comes to your relationship with Christ, morals, and values, they will never try to mislead you.
Real friends love and respect the “God in you” at all times. Beware of “friends” who only respect your values behind “closed doors”, then when you are out in public, they magically conform to every environment or group of people you all come in contact with.
These “friends” may even deny you or the association that they have with you – just like Peter in the Bible. Peter denied Christ as a result of hanging out with the wrong crowd. Jesus told him, the night before His crucifixion, that Peter would deny him not 1, not 2, but 3 times (Matthew 26:31-35;69-75).
Did the peer pressure get to Peter because he had walked with the man who proclaimed to be the “Son of God”, the “Messiah”, the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6)?” Was it easier to go with the crowd than to walk in agreement with Jesus because He was so different and had so many people against Him?
You Have a Choice When Peer Pressure Strikes
Sure, Peter was under a TON of peer pressure. But, the point is this. Yes, he allowed the pressure to get to him, but he had a choice and so do you.
Don’t ever let anyone make you feel like you don’t have a choice – because you always will! The beautiful thing about the Holy Spirit is that He will teach you the way to go and what to do in all things…even in the midst of peer pressure:
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you John 14:26.
What comfort, what LOVE! You see, God loves us, and He protects us at all times when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. He lives inside of us giving us direction on how to deal with every aspect of life.
And, if that means you have to stop associating with certain people in order to honor the most important relationship in your life – which is the relationship with your heavenly Father – then pray to God for strength, and let it go.
In due time, God will bring you amazing friends who will honor you and love you just the way you are. Because remember…
Real Friends Who Love You = No Pressure!
So, What’s the Play Call?
Here are 3 play calls to consider when you feel like you are under peer pressure:
- Close your eyes and BREATHE slowly. Breathing has a way of bringing a calmness to your mind, body, and spirit. As you settle your spirit, think on Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
- If the pressure is being applied from a person, ask yourself why are you allowing it, and make the necessary changes. The thing about peer pressure is it doesn’t work without your participation. Ephesians 5:11 says, “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them.”
- Take your issue before God in prayer until you feel the peace of God. As you surrender the pressure from others to God in prayer, peace becomes your personal guard. Philippians 4:6 says, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”