Traps are set all throughout your teen & adult life. These traps look attractive and sweet, but underneath there is a lot of pain and hurt. The second trap is the trap of PEER PRESSURE.
What is Peer Pressure? “It is the pressure you experience by the social environments you choose to place yourself in.”
When you are placed into a social environment you will always feel pressure to be accepted (conform to the standard, go with the flow). When you submit to the wrong kinds of peer pressure you stop thinking rationally, you stop thinking about the big picture in life, and you get tunnel vision about being “cool” at that particular moment in time.
In 2 Samuel 13:1-19 you will find a negative example of peer pressure: Amnon. Amnon listened to his friend Jonadab and ruined his life, all because he wanted to please his peers. Open your Bible and read the story.
In Daniel 1:8-20 you will find a positive example of peer pressure: Daniel. Daniel was placed into a social environment of royalty and he decided to exert positive peer pressure of obeying God rather than man. What happens?! 3 other guys stand with him and God greatly blesses them.
Here are 7 Statements about Peer Pressure:
1. Everyone experiences peer pressure. You are not alone! – Every person has faced negative and positive peer pressure. Don’t feel like you are the only one!
2. The friends you choose have a huge influence on the kind of person you will become. – Most likely your character right now is the product of the friends you have chosen. Furthermore, your future will be influenced the friendships you maintain and make. Are hanging out with Jonadabs or Daniels?
3. The friends you choose have huge impact on the decisions you make. –Your music selections, your dress standards, your dating standards (or lack thereof), your communication, your media selections, your brand of clothes, your view of family, your college decisions, your career dream, your relationships, etc is primarily due to the friends you have right now! Seek to magnify God!
4. You must recognize that “Christian Friends” will not always be a good influence on you. – Sadly, just because someone states that they are a Christian, DOES NOT mean you can automatically hang out with them. There are Christian schools and churches PACKED with professing Christians who have no ambition to please God. Apply discernment!
5. As a friend, your influence on others is huge. What kind of pressure do you exert? – Stop and think about what kind of friend you are to others? Are you a Jonadab or a Daniel? Most likely you will attract what you are like.
6. You must decide to choose strong friends who will help you walk with God. – As you evaluate your list of friends, do they help or hinder your walk with God? Do you feel challenged to take your next step spiritually or do you feel like you have to “get right” after spending time with a friend?
7. You must decide in advance how you will respond to key-life choices (drugs, alcohol, sex, etc). – The reason Daniel was able to obey God in such an intimidating environment was because he decided way in advance what he was going to do! Right now, you need to decide in advance what you are going to do when offered drugs, invited to go clubbing, tempted to make-out in the backseat of the car, what you are going to wear at the Jr/Sr banquet (prom), behave at a weekend sleepover, etc.
Before you decide to emerge yourself into any kind of social environment, ask yourself the following 2 questions…
1. What kind of peer pressure am I going to face? – Whatever social environment you are placed in, think about what kind of peer pressure you are going to face Jonadab-type peer pressure or Daniel-type peer pressure?
2. How am I going to handle it? –The main question is how are you going to respond to it? Are you going to please man or obey God?
Credit: Much of this outline is adapted from Cary Schmidt, student pastor at Lancaster Baptist Church. He has made his sermon material available for this study on Teen Traps.