Accountability, Back To School Series, Growth/Maturity, Leadership

Back To School: Pausing Peer Pressure

School has begun for most students across the world so EmpowerMoments is featuring a series entitled “Back to School”.   Read each day as our writers share stories and learned lessons from their school-related experiences.  Come and get on our EmpowerMoments school bus!

“I don’t like her.”

“Why not?”

“Just because.”

“Did she do something to you?”

“Nope, but my friend doesn’t like her, so neither do I.”

Ladies, how many of you are guilty of such a conversation at some point in your life? I’m pretty certain that a good number of us have been on the giving or receiving end of this exchange at one time or another. I know I have! In elementary school I was the victim of such idiocy. One girl disliked me so an entire group chose not like me as well. By the time I made it to high school, I was hating people simply because my friends were hating them. Fast forward to college and I was the one dictating who we should and shouldn’t treat nicely. Although I played very different roles in each of these scenarios, one thing remained consistent—each included a horrible case of peer pressure.

Many of you reading this are probably thinking that peer pressure is just a problem that we deal with in school, but I beg to differ. Many of us adults are guilty of engaging in activities at the suggestion of someone else, situations which we otherwise would have chosen to forego.  We may (or may not) have grown past choosing our friends and enemies based on what others feel but we still fall victim to the pressure of our peers from time to time. Do you recall when your neighbor wanted to help you get a job at her company and she encouraged you to add some fluff to your resume` — peer pressure.  Remember when he convinced you to have sex after you declared a life of celibacy until marriage—peer pressure. What about when you sat around listening to your friends gossip about the girl down the street?   Sure, you didn’t add anything to the conversation but you didn’t stand up for right either—peer pressure.

In Exodus 23, verses 2 and 3 clearly admonish us against such behavior: “Do not join a crowd that intends to do evil. When you are on the witness stand, do not be swayed in your testimony by the opinion of the majority.” (NLT) We are to be witnesses daily for the Gospel. It is imperative that our testimonies and lifestyles are not dictated by the majority’s worldly standards. We have a duty to choose right, even when it is not popular. We cannot be afraid to go against the grain to maintain God’s standards for living!

I am most inspired by a very recent and familiar story of one man’s courage to stand up for what he believed in and not give in to the pressure from his peers. Dan Cathy, President and CEO of Chick-Fil-A, chose to stand on his belief that God reserved marriage for man and woman, and not those of the same sex.  I am well aware of many who challenged his stance and I am sure Mr. Cathy recognized the threat that such controversy could pose to his restaurant’s bottom line. However, that didn’t sway his testimony! He chose to stand for what was Biblically right over what was popular. Even after knowing the consequences of choosing right, will you stand for God or give into the pressure of your peers? I’ve learned that God will bless you when your life blesses Him. (Look at the lines wrapped around Chik-Fil-A!)

Dear Daddy,

Please forgive me for the times that I chose to follow people when I should’ve been following You. Give me the strength and will to make decisions that would glorify You and not taint my witness for the Kingdom. Please grant me the courage to go against whatever goes against Your word, even if it means going against those closest to me. Today I choose to stand up for right! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to challenge peer pressure. If the temptation to do wrong is too strong for you to resist when you are in the company of certain individuals, you may need to reconsider their position in your life. EMPOWER your stance for the kingdom by choosing to do right!

How do you ensure that you are not tainted by negative influences? Share your tactics with us below.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Flee!

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Mrs. Kristen Harris is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and dedicated servant. She is extremely passionate about women’s spiritual advancement, hence the founding of EmpowerMoments. As an avid reader, Kristen enjoys reading the Bible and other non-fiction pieces. Her driving inspiration is when God says to her: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) She currently resides outside of Chicago, Illinois with her wonderful husband and three lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.

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6 thoughts on “Back To School: Pausing Peer Pressure”

  1. Kristen, this is VERY good. I see this in church alot. I just hope that this will help and remind us that this is unacceptable to our Father, but what I do is, I stay to myself. Many think that I’m anti-social, but I just dont like to entertain gossip and other foolishness.

    1. Thanks Lisa.

      Staying to yourself is sometimes the best antidote. Its so easy to fall into the trap if you are not careful. I know I have to stop answering the phone at times for certain people because I already know the outcome.

  2. Such a powerful and needed word! Our fear of man and what they think can cripple us but I am reminded that if we love God then we will strive to follow His commands, live holy and with integrity… what helps me is to remember the story of king Saul and how he chose to protect his reputation, idolize himself, and focus on how he looked before others instead of fearing the Lord and that cost him his kingship, destiny, his life. I am reminded that we will be persecuted and we will face struggles but we must maintain faith to the end!

  3. Amen! I agree that adults can get into peer pressure! I know gossip is kind of an easy thing to fall into (i.e. at work). It’s really sad that people dislike others b/c their friends dislike them! That’s so childish!

    1. Yes, Venus its very childish. But I can honestly say that I can name several adults that I know who are still practicing such foolishness. (Im praying for them 🙂 )

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