Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Practical Problem of Peer Pressure

1 Corinthians 15:32,33

For many people, the only significant factor that acts as a brake upon their totally giving way to their lower nature is their concern about what others may think of them. If then they find their peers accepting low standards of behavior and engaging in activities of a very dubious nature, the pressure upon a person’s morals and character is almost irresistible. And then the attitude a person will adopt - and the rationale they may well give subsequently for their behavior - is likely to be, “But everybody is doing it.” As Paul puts it so succinctly here, “Bad company ruins good morals.”

We see this insidious pressure, both subtle and open, all around us today. Peer pressure to conform to the world in our language, our goals, our behavior. If there is no life but this present one, why shouldn’t we?

But we will act differently if we believe that this earthly life is but a preparation for the life that is to come, and moreover that the choices we make in this life are decisive for the outcome in the next, seeing that (as Hebrews 9:27 puts it), “it is ap­poin­ted for man to die once, and after that comes judgement”, for “each of us will give an account of himself to God” (Ro­m­ans 14:12). Thus when we live as those who will have to give an account to God, and say a firm “no” to ubiquitous peer pre­s­­s­ure, we are demonstrating in our lives our confidence in the Lord, and his gospel, and the reality of life beyond this one.

Indeed, as Paul says, if the dead are not raised, why not simply indulge ourselves before we die? But if we believe in the resurrection then we will turn away from a life of indul­gence and sin (v.34), we will not let peer pressure influence us, and instead we will live our lives as “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (v.58).


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