Friday, September 15, 2017

What Kind of Peer Pressure Are You Experiencing?

Peer pressure can be used both for good and for ill. In one instance last summer, I was thankful for peer pressure. My friends and I discovered this abandoned house. I've always had a fascination with abandoned places, but never had the opportunity to go into one before. This time, the chance had finally presented itself. The thing is, I almost didn't have the nerve. Lucky for me, my friend did. He went in first and gave me just the push I needed. As a result, I got a collection of neat photos, fun memories, and a story to tell!

On the flip side, peer pressure can be a terrible evil, as it was in the life of Samson. At the start, in Judges 14, it merely involved him giving away the answer to a riddle that would cause him to lose a bet and some belongings. The second time, things took a far worse turn:

After this, he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her,“Seduce him, and see where his great strength lies, and by what means we may overpower him, that we may bind him to humble him. And we will each give you 1,100 pieces of silver.” So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me where your great strength lies, and how you might be bound, that one could subdue you.” (Judges 15:4-6)

After a lot of pushing from Delilah, Samson gave in to her pressure and told his secret. Promptly, the information was used against him. "The Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles. And he ground at the mill in the prison." (Judges 16:21)

Next time you are being pushed to do something, stop and think. Is it good? Is it helpful? What is your motive in your choice to follow or disregard the pressure? Is it something that will be pleasing to God?

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