Can peer pressure be stronger than any other temptation?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: I don’t see what’s so bad about hanging out with my buddies, but my mom keeps telling me not to follow the crowd and says peer pressure can be stronger than any other temptation. Is that really true? – C.P.
A: It has fascinated people to discover the strength of two magnets placed a short distance apart and then moving one toward the other. One magnet will draw the other closer until they adhere, making it difficult to pull them apart.
Peer pressure can have the same effect as a magnet. The closer we get to temptation, the more likely we’re pulled its direction. Wanting to be accepted by the wrong crowd can lead us to temptation and ultimately sin. The Bible says, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape” (1 Corinthians 10:13). The Bible says to flee – stay far from temptation.
The Bible story of Joseph is often cited when conversations revolve around dealing with peer pressure. When this young man was tempted by his master’s wife, he said, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9). This is the key. Joseph recognized the temptation and fled so that he would not bring dishonor to the God he served. His mind was on God! This is what gave Joseph the strength to flee, and the Bible says, “The Lord was with [Joseph]” (Genesis 39:3). If we are praying not to enter into temptation (Luke 22:40), the Lord will enable us to recognize it and flee. It is important to think clearly about the friends we keep, the crowds we follow, and where they lead.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
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