Have you ever been in a place where you knew something wasn’t right, but you went along with it anyway?
Do you wish you could have the courage to say no when all of your friends say yes?
There comes a time in each of our lives when we are pressured to go against what we believe.
Half the time, it seems like it would be easier if we just gave in and made a small compromise. And maybe it would be, in that moment.
But all of those small compromises come crawling back until we find ourselves in a place we never intended to go.
We ask ourselves, “how did I get myself into this? I never meant to go this far.”
It’s then when we realize that it was all of those seemingly small compromises that got us into that mess in the first place.
Most of the time, it’s hard and awkward when all of our friends say yes and we say no, but it’s so worth it! I love what Sadie Robertson says in her book, Live Original.
She says, “5 seconds of awkward can save you from a lifetime of regret”.
When we stand against the crowd, it’s likely that people will try to makes us feel stupid or dumb, but that doesn’t compare to where we could end up if we continue to let others make our choices.
The Bible actually has a lot to say about friendship and what we should be doing as Christians. Jesus knows exactly what we go through because He too had to deal with peer pressure while He was here on earth.
So, how should we respond when peer pressure hits hard?
1) Remember who you are living for.
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10.
Whatever it is that your friends are pressuring you to do, run it past God first. If something isn’t right, the Holy Spirit will usually tell you. You might even just have a feeling that’s telling you not to do it. That’s the Holy Spirit talking.
Something you’ll always want to ask yourself is, “does this line up with scripture?” As you get to know God and draw closer to Him, you’ll be able to better determine what’s right and wrong.
If you’re being pressured to do something that goes against scripture, it should be an automatic no. Remember, it might be difficult, but it’s always better to do what’s right than to do what’s wrong and cause pain for yourself and others.
Whenever you’re in a situation where something isn’t right, pray for guidance and ask yourself if it lines up with God’s Word.
2) Share the reason you’re saying no.
Let’s say a friend wants you to steal or vandalize something. It’s pretty obvious why you would refuse. After all, those things are illegal. However, in other circumstances, it’s good to share why you’re choosing to say no.
A friend may ask you to tell a small lie or give them a couple answers for their homework. Neither of those are against the law and they don’t seem like such big deals.
Just because it’s not illegal doesn’t make it right.
“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,” (1 Peter 3:15).
If someone wants you to lie, explain why you value honesty. Explain how being dishonest in small things will most likely lead to being dishonest in bigger things.
Use those times as opportunities to share what you believe with others. Instead of tearing your friend down, use those times as chances to encourage them to do the right thing.
3) Shower With Kindness
Have you ever had someone say something rude to you and all you wanted was for them to feel how you felt? It’s only natural to want revenge, but it never gives the satisfaction it promises.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant…” (1 Corinthians 13:4).
Anytime someone tried to corner Jesus or make him mess up, He always repaid it with love.
Now, don’t get me wrong. He didn’t just let people walk all over Him. Jesus explained His reasons and He was firm in His decisions. He just did it in love.
Doing the right thing is hard. It’s even harder when you have to refuse to do something that all of your friends are okay with. Some people may make rude comments. Some may treat you as if you don’t know what it means to ‘have fun’.
The best way to deal with things like that is to shower them with kindness. Stand firm, but do it in love.
It takes courage to say no when the crowd says yes.
Remember that you aren’t living for the approval of your friends. By choosing to stand strong and do the right thing, you’re showing Christ that you love Him enough to honor Him with your life.
What Do You Think?
Can you think of a time when you felt pressured to do something wrong?
How did you respond?
I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below!
Written by Kayla Marie of Embrace Purity.