Do we fol­low the crowd or do we fol­low the cross?

Calhoun Times - - RELIGION - Randy Muse

bod­ies as liv­ing sac­ri­fices, holy and pleas­ing to God—this is your spir­i­tual act of wor­ship. Do not con­form any longer to the pat­tern of this world, but be trans­formed by the re­new­ing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and ap­prove what God’s will is—his good, pleas­ing and per­fect will.

How many of you have been asked at some point in your life, “If your friend jumps off a cliff would you?” There’s al­ways been a prob­lem in our world known as peer pres­sure. Sta­tis­tics say that 26 per­cent of stu­dents find peer pres­sure to be a ma­jor is­sue in their life.

Many times, even into adult­hood, we fall victim to this dread­ful scheme. The World says we must look, act and dress a cer­tain way, even though we were all cre­ated in the im­age of God.

So­ci­ety screams, and some­times wis­pers, a lie that you can live the way you want and it won’t hurt any­one but you. How­ever, even the most naive would have a prob­lem deny­ing that peer pres­sure isn’t a se­ri­ous prob­lem.

So what are the ef­fects of peer pres­sure? Well, there are way to many to list them all, but let’s con­sider a few…

First of all, there is guilt from sin that re­sults from peer pres­sure. You can’t run from guilt, even if no one knows what you have done.

An­other ef­fect that is some­times brought about is a loss of trust. Not many things hurt more than los­ing the trust of fam­ily and friends.

A third re­sult of fall­ing into peer pres­sure is that you be­come a fol­lower in­stead of a leader, and all of us are lead­ers to some­one. Of­ten times, this re­sults in com­pro­mis­ing our con­vic­tions.

One of the worst ef­fects of us fall­ing into peer pres­sure is that it puts a strain on our fel­low­ship with God. God is holy, and can­not be in fel­low­ship with some­one who is in will­ful, un-con­fessed sin.

So how do we over­come peer pres­sure? First of all, we need to get into God’s Word. Psalm 119:11 says, “Your word I have hid­den in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”

Sec­ondly, many times, when pos­si­ble, we need to re­sist be­ing around peo­ple that have a bad in­flu­ence on us. Try in­stead to sur­round our­selves with Godly peo­ple.

Thirdly, we need to make ev­ery ef­fort to leave the sit­u­a­tion. 1Cor­in­tians 10:13 says, “No temp­ta­tion has over­taken you ex­cept what is com­mon to mankind. And God is faith­ful; he will not let you be tempted be­yond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also pro­vide a way out so that you can en­dure it.”

Ul­ti­mately, we need to make a con­science de­ci­sion to fol­low the crowd and give in to Peer Pres­sure, or we can fol­low the cross and be blessed by God. It’s your choice. Like­wise, you will have to own the con­se­quences as well.

Be blessed.

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