One of the things that usually affects the young man and young lady is this thing called Peer Pressure. This is the push that comes from someone’s friends or peer to do something or act in a particular way. This pressure could either be gentle or forceful depending on the person exerting the force.
What happens when a girl who is a virgin is admitted into high school and put in the same room with other girls who come back to the room daily talking about their escapades with boys and the ‘fun’ they experience? What happens when a young man who is trying to be a Christian sees his colleague at work regularly accept bribes before doing what they were paid to do? Several have yielded to smoking and drinking, cheating in exams, and several other vices not because they wanted to do them but because of peer pressure from their friends.
Several of us have succumbed and have been overpowered by pressures from our friends in time past and that has set us on a journey that became a habit that was difficult to stop. One example I saw in the bible was when Peter, a very strong and influential disciple decided to go back to fish after Jesus had died (John 21:3). Other disciples followed him immediately he announced he was going to fish, though he never called them.
But is Peer pressure only Negative?
8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
12 Prove your servants, I beseech you, ten days; and let them give us vegetables to eat, and water to drink. [Daniel 1]
Again Daniel was an influential Israelite, though among friends made up his mind not to defile himself with ‘worldly’ things. Without necessarily calling his friends, his three friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego also followed because of his personal decision.
Can Christians not also mount pressure on others to do right? Must the unbelievers be the strong one to pressurise us into wrong doing? Why are we not bold enough to decide right and compel others to follow suit? Why are we the ones who usually look for others to follow and we usually follow the wrong people? Should peer pressure be negative only?
I think NOT! I think Christians can as well decide right and wait for others to follow. I think we can like Daniel, make up our minds about certain virtues in life and leave others with no other option than to follow suit. Shouldn’t we be the ones setting the standard in sexual purity? Can we not be bold about our God and demand a following from others?
Christians must arise and set the pace in right doing.
Disciples must be courageous to declare their righteous stand and be bold to stand by it.