Luke 18:39 And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
In Luke chapter eighteen, we find the story of a blind man who receives his sight. One of the things that I think is often missed in this story is the peer pressure that this man overcame to receive his sight.
Jesus was traveling to Jericho and, as always, the multitudes came out to see Jesus. However, as the people were flooding out of the city, the blind man who sat there daily began to ask them where they were going and what the commotion was about. They told him Jesus of Nazareth was going to pass by! Immediately he began to get excited—he had heard of those Jesus had healed, perhaps this was his chance to finally be able to see.
With all his might the blind man began crying out for Jesus, but the multitude rebuked him and tried to hush him. The more they tried to quiet him, the louder he would cry out, “Thou Son of David, have mercy on me!”
That day, Jesus did have mercy on him and gave him his sight, but I can’t help but think what would have happened if the blind man had listened to the multitude. I believe that if he had heeded the crowd around him he would have died without receiving his sight.
The sad truth is many give into the peer pressure around them and never fully experience the life and joy that God intended for them. They go through life listening to the multitudes and missing out on the joys of the will of God.
When you think of peer pressure, your mind almost automatically goes to teenagers. While the peer pressure facing young people is a real thing, so is the peer pressure all of us face on a daily basis. There are peer pressures from society, coworkers, friends, and often even from family.
Let’s look at several Biblical applications for dealing with peer pressure.
1. Accept your differences.
If you will accept that you do not have to fit into the mold of the world, you are on the first step to victory. Psalms 139:14 tells us, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” God made you a special and unique individual who is different than anyone else He has ever created or ever will. He also has a unique plan and purpose for your life. Come to grips with the fact that it is ok to be different—God made you that way.
2. God’s plan for your life is better than anyone else’s.
Have you ever noticed that everyone has a plan for your life and knows what is best for you? There is no better plan for your life than God’s plan. God made you with a special purpose for you to fulfill. God told Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” God made you with a specific plan for your life and His plan is better than any plan anyone (including you) could come up with.
3. Surround yourself with godly influences.
One of the ways to overcome bad peer pressure is to surround yourself with good peer pressure. If you surround yourself with people who are encouraging you to do right and who are seeking God’s will for their life as well, you will find it a lot easier to say no when the wrong peer pressure shows up. Proverbs 13:20 tells us, “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” Surrounding yourself with godly influences will give you strength to resist the wrong peer pressure.
4. Keep your focus right.
The apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Paul said the life he was living was not about him, but about Christ. When we keep our focus on pleasing Christ and living for Him, we will not concern ourselves with what the crowd thinks about our decisions. A right focus on Christ is imperative to overcoming the negative peer pressure in your life.
As we seek to live for Christ there will always be a multitude trying to pull us along with them. Whether you are young or old, grounded in your faith or a new Christian, a pastor or congregant, you will constantly be faced with peer pressure. How you respond to that peer pressure may determine what you get out of your Christian life. Let’s decide to seek God’s will and live in His fullest blessings.