I came back from my church’s annual youth camp yesterday and I find the theme talks quite relatable to teenagers and maybe even adults. In this letter I’m going to share one of the topics our pastor talked about.
Before the pastor began the talk, he asked a boy among the audience to help him to bring a file that he had ‘accidentally’ left outside the hall. Immediately after the boy went out, the pastor asked us to put our forearms on top of our heads and keep absolutely still. No sound. No smiles.
Soon, the boy came back, and when he returned to his seat, he put his forearm on his head at once.
“That, my friends, is called peer pressure,” said the pastor.
Everyone will have to go through peer pressure, including me. In fact, I go through it all the time, especially when I’m with my friends. I suddenly feel the need to buy branded clothes, dye my hair, have a perfect instagram feed, etc. when all of them are unnecessary to me. I tend to be easily influenced by my friends and I went through many struggles not to give into temptation. That’s the reason why the more I need God in my life.
1 Peter 4: 1-2 says, “Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.” The first step is to stop living for ourselves and start living for God. When we do, we start to change our perspectives on things and this helps us in making the right lifestyle choices.
Having a good company of friends is also important. As two people are stronger than one, a group of good Christian friends can help to affirm our faith. Peer pressure can be both good and bad, and godly friends can influence us the good way. As the pastor said, “We must be motivated by love for others, not a desire to be popular.”
Of course, we cannot resist the temptation all by ourselves. God is always there for us to pray to and draw strength from. With God’s help, we can stay strong. God bless.
Jane Ong (16) is a longtime staff writer at Changing Lives Ministry.