Peer Pressure

<<group force>>

The influence exerted on a person, by those of similar age or social setting, to conform to their standard.  This persuasion, common during the teenage years yet continuing to some degree throughout life, is largely about insecurity and a desire for acceptance. It is a natural human trait to want to be like others, accepted among one’s equals rather than the odd one out (1 Sam 8:5,19,20). Resolve to stand for what is right. It is also important to make your own decisions and be your own person than to be controlled by someone else. Choosing not to comply with unwise or ungodly requests may result in rejection by friends, ridicule, social disgrace and stigma or maybe even physical abuse but the Lord will not reject His own who remain loyal to Him – “I am always with you” (Mt 5:11,12, 28:20).  ‘One with God is a majority’ so we should “not be afraid of what man can do to us” (Lk 12:4,5).  If you have entered into something that is not right, take the necessary steps to become free (Prov 6:1-5). “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong…Do not be a slave to men” (Ex 23:2; Prov 1:10-16; 1 Cor 7:23). Remain true to God and hold to your principles and values without being intimidated by those who have differing standards, for He honours those who walk in His ways (1 Sam 2:30; 2 Cor 6:8).

Often we must choose to either be popular and successful in human eyes by compromising in some area or have God’s lasting approval because of obedience to Him – “It is better to obey God than man” for we are answerable to Him, not them (Act 4:19, 5:29; Rom 14:12).  Have a strong commitment to God and live in obedience to His

Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mould – Romans 12:2

guidelines on conduct, given in Scripture.  Don’t compromise your integrity or morals even with the threat of physical suffering, blackmail, or lose of friendship, privileges or rights. Jesus was not swayed by human opinion – He boldly and clearly spoke out what God instructed Him; in contrast Pilate yielded to crowd pressure by sentencing Jesus to death (Mk 12:14; Lk 23:13-24; Jn 8:28, 12:49,50).

However, try to fit in with the plans of others, provided they do not violate Bible principles, or else suggest an acceptable alternative. Be a proactive leader who charts the course by putting forward wholesome options. Caleb and Joshua voiced their opinions against that of the other 10 spies and faced being stoned to death by the Israelites (Num 13:30-32, 14:6-10).  Yet eventually, they were the only two who entered into the Promised Land.

See also: acceptance, compromise, conform, expectations, manipulation, obedience, popular/popularity, pressure, principles, rejection, self-acceptance.