I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.— Galatians 1:10
There’s a story told about a spider that built a beautiful web in an old house. He kept it clean and shiny so that flies would patronize it. The minute he got a “customer” he would clean up on him so the other flies would not get suspicious.
Then one day, a fairly intelligent fly came buzzing by the clean web. Old man spider called out, “Come in and sit.” But the fairly intelligent fly said, “No, sir. I don’t see other flies in your house and I am not going in alone!”
But presently he saw on the floor below a large crowd of flies dancing around on a piece of brown paper. He was delighted! He was not afraid if lots of flies were doing it. So he came in for a landing. Just before he landed, a bee zoomed by saying, “Don’t land there! That’s flypaper!”
But the fairly intelligent fly shouted back, “Don’t be silly. That many flies can’t be wrong!”
Studies overwhelmingly show that peer pressure is one of the most powerful influencers of our behavior. One psychological study out of Europe showed that a subject would continue administering what he believed were painful shocks (but weren’t really) to a person in another room if a team of “experts” told him it was necessary.
Peer pressure is powerful – and it can lead to painful consequences. And no matter how much life experience we might have behind us, we’re never immune to it. It’s a potent force whether you’re 8 or 80.
So instead of asking if something is popular, ask first if it is right. Don’t let others pressure you into doing the wrong things. Seek God’s will first – no matter what others say!
Ask God to give you the power to stay firm in your convictions even when it seems so many others are doing the opposite.
Questions for thought
What do you think it is about peer pressure that’s so powerful in influencing our behavior?
What’s one example from your own life of where you’ve felt pressure to compromise because of what others are doing, but stood strong and did the right thing?