How do you handle peer group pressure? I guess that no matter the age we are the pressure we receive from our friends, colleagues and even family members to do things we know that are not right is very real. The enticement to follow others down the path of sin is forever in front of us. It is like throwing a fishing line into the water to catch a fish. We place a hook on the end of our line and then carefully camouflage it with a nice tasty morsel of bait to attract a poor unsuspecting fish. Some fish are smarter than others and just sniff the bait and move on. Others cannot resist the seemingly harmless morsel and all of a sudden they are caught and dragged off to certain death!
For some reason sin in its many forms seems attractive to us. When our friends encourage us to join them in an activity that is in opposition to God’s clear teaching, we for some reason tag along with them thinking that we will be safe. We reason with ourselves that there is safety in numbers and that ‘everyone is doing it’. Why should we be the odd one out!
Today’s Bible text challenges us to be the ‘odd one out’! We are told to listen to instruction and put into action the teaching we receive from our spiritual leaders. These leaders are firstly, our earthly parents, and secondly, those entrusted with raising us up for an eternity of serving the Lord. One great gem in this section of Scripture is that we learn that we are first God’s child, and that secondly, He gave us earthly parents to raise us physically, emotionally and spiritually. He therefore expects us to exercise much wisdom by listening to them and then by obeying their teaching!
There are four lessons for us to learn today. Firstly, that there is a natural bias to sin. Secondly, we are to listen to instruction and teaching and then take action. Thirdly, we are to be very much aware of the danger of peer group pressure. Finally, we are to be clear as to where all sin leads us – it leads to ruin! Jesus said in Matthew 7: 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.”