Withstanding the Temptation of Peer Pressure

1.       Understand the strength of temptation. Avoid friends and places that you know will present a temptation. Remember, retreat is not defeat.
2.       Search, know, love and live the Scriptures. The Bible repeatedly teaches us how to fight temptation. Read Matthew 4 to see how Jesus fought off temptation using the Word of God.
3.       Lean hard on Christ. In Christ we find the strength to resist every tempting enemy. Remember that, though Satan is mighty as a fallen angel, Christ is almighty as the living Lord.
4.       Be true to God. Pray for the Holy Spirit’s strength to walk in the way of God’s commandments. What God thinks means more than what man thinks. Let God be big and man be small in your eyes. Let the fear of God prevail over the fear of peers. If you fear God, you need fear no one else.
5.       Be true to your Biblical convictions. Give of yourself in God-honouring ways in friendships, but do not give up yourself for friendship. The former demands self-sacrifice; the latter, sacrificing your inner convictions and moral principles.
6.       Remember, true friends seek your best welfare. If a group of friends want to lead you from God and away from holiness, seek other friends. Remember, a true friend will lead you away from sin, not into it.
7.       Take the long-term perspective. Many people reap lifelong sorrow for action they took when friends tempted them to engage in a few sinful moments of fun. Remember that long-term happiness means more than short-term pleasure.
8.       Lead rather than be lead. Be a positive influence rather than being led by negative influences. A true friend exerts pressure that is positive in nature.
9.       Remember that service is greater than selfishness. When he was nineteen, my brother told me, “I have discovered what life is all about and I can put it in one word.”
“What’s the word?” I asked
Service,” he said. “If God created us to serve him and our neighbour, so long as we
serve ourselves we will be unhappy. When we serve God and our neighbour, we will be truly happy because we will be living for the purpose for which God created us.”
10.   Remember, inner thoughts often contradict outer actions. The words and actions of people in a group are often considerably different from what they believe in private. If you stand up for God, the very people who boldly criticise you in public may come to you in private, asking for advice when they are in trouble.
Taken from ‘Contagious Christian Living’ by Joel R. Beeke p101-103


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