Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Peer Presure

There are several types of peer pressure – some of it neutral; most of it bad.

Neutral – Clothing. Styles change from country to country and from generation to generation. People dress like other people dress. This is not bad unless it is disobedient to parents or sexy. We know this from teaching in I Corinthians 9:19-23,

“Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”

This identification of becoming like the people you are trying to reach without compromise. Hudson Taylor exemplified this when he dressed like the Chinese and wore a pigtail like the Chinese.

Bad – The teaching on bad peer pressure is in I Corinthians 15:33-34,

“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’ Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.”

For several years I taught an elective at Logos School in Moscow, Idaho. It was called Practical Christianity. The class averaged about 20 kids a semester. Sometime in each semester I would ask the class the following questions.

1. “Do you know who the godliest kid is in the high school?” They all nodded; they knew.
2. “Do you know who the next to the godliest kids are?” Again nods.
3. “Do you know who the above average kids are? Yes, they knew.
4. “Do you know who the average kids are?” Yes, they knew.
5. “Do you know who the below average kids are?” Again, they knew.
6. “Do you know who the ‘cool’ kids are?” “Of course.”

With all of this knowledge of comparative morality what was the answer to the next question? “Who does everyone want to imitate?” For those then semesters I got the same answer, “The cool kids.”

These were Christian kids in a Christian school who wanted to imitate downwards. They did not want to imitate the godly kids and they knew who they were.

Most peer pressure is to disobey God and His representative authorities.

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