My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. ~Proverbs 1:10
The Book of Proverbs should be daily, required reading for every Christian. It is called “the words of the wise” or “the book of wisdom.” The proper and humble reading of Proverbs gives us wisdom for daily living. It helps us understand proper instruction, justice, judgment, equity, knowledge, and discretion. God gave us Proverbs so that we don’t have to make mistakes that are costly in order to learn wisdom. Proverbs teaches us how to have foresight and insight. It is preventive medicine to keep us from being naïve and lacking in understanding. Our devotion this morning centers on a simple but powerful command regarding peer pressure.
We see the power in peer pressure.
Peer pressure is the influence that your friends, work associates, and social networks have upon you. Peer pressure affects many of our decisions. Peer pressure affects our involvement. When you are part of a network of people, everyone in that network wants to feel accepted and wanted. None of us want to feel like the “odd ball” or looked upon as a dissenter. Peer pressure affects what we buy, what we wear, where we go, and what we do. Peer pressure can be positive, but in many cases it is very negative. It is important to identify the network of people that have influence in your life, and how they affect your decision-making.
We see the perils in peer pressure.
Solomon is speaking as a father. He knows that peer pressure can pull you in the wrong direction. Peer pressure leads to a mob mentality to take advantage of others. Peer pressure wants you to conform to its culture, and rejects you if you don’t. It plays upon the awful feelings of rejection and “convinces” you that by joining the crowd, you are better off. In Prov. 1:11-19, he refers to peer pressure: “greedy of gain,” whose “feet run to evil,” and “make haste to shed innocent blood.” Peer pressure is how naïve people make unwise business and financial decisions. Peer pressure is how innocence is lost and a defiled life develops. Peer pressure is how a scornful attitude towards authority is developed. Peer pressure is how you can quickly morph into a shady character. What is peer pressure doing to you?
We see the prevention from peer pressure.
“My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.” Solomon is telling us, “Just tell them, ‘NO!’” One of the first rules in developing good practices in our children and for ourselves is when to say “no.” This is a discipline that we must develop. Say “no” to the pull of drinking alcohol or taking substances that are controlling. Say “no” to hanging out at bars, taverns, parties, and events where your testimony for Christ is tainted. Say “no” to participation in anything illegal. Say “no” to lying and deceitful activities. Say “no” to skipping out on church attendance. Say “no” to anything that would break the heart of your parents. Know what is right from wrong. Know truth from error. Just say “no.” In vs. 33, Solomon tells us the blessing from taking a stand against peer pressure that tries to take us down the wrong path. “But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” We have preservation from danger, and have peace of mind.
Peer pressure is very powerful. Evaluate what peer pressure is doing to you. Realize that you must have the conviction to just say “no” when you are being pulled in a wrong direction. Follow a father’s advice, and remember just say “no.”
Have a God-fearing God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Proverbs 1-3