7 Ways the Bible Teaches How Overcome Peer Pressure

5 Mins read

Peer pressure is a modern term that is not found in the Scriptures. However, what is being talked about when one speaks of peer pressure can be found quite easily.

The biblical phrasing for what is now deemed peer pressure is known as fear – more specifically, the fear of man.

It is unfortunate but true that everyone has had to face this monster at different times in their lives. And it would seem that, at least to some degree, every person in varying degrees still does. Some people may only encounter this problem minimally and may be able to quickly shake it off and press back into the Lord.

However, some will find themselves gripped by this enticing foe.

So why does peer pressure finds it place in the heart of so many Christians? Peer pressure (or the fear of man) has an underlying desire to please.

In the Old Testament, there was time when Aaron should have been leading the people as Moses was up on a mountain being instructed by God. The people wanted Aaron to fashion for them a golden calf.

They believed that God was strong, so they thought making a strong bull to depict God would make sense. However, this was in direct violation of the Second Commandment.

God cannot be contained in an image. In some way, it will rob God of His glory. Yes, God is strong, but He is much more than that. God is loving and compassionate and kind.

Aaron should not have made the bull, and he knew it, but he caved to the pressure of the people. He was a people pleaser. The internal questions of people like Aaron are something like, “Will they still like me if I say no?” or “What will they think of me?”

Peer pressure finds its fertile soil in a heart that is not stabilized in God.

Solomon shares his thoughts with us in Proverbs 1:8-19 on how to guard against peer pressure. It would be wise to pay close attention to what he conveys.

The following are seven ways that you can defeat this monster in your own life:

Guard against peer pressure by heeding instruction

The first step is simple, yet it is often overlooked. Scripture says, “My son, hear the instruction of thy father…” (Prov. 1:8). Chances are there is someone in your life that can be seen as a source of instruction.

Whether this be a parent, loved one, friend, teacher, pastor, or a favorite author, someone is most likely speaking into your life.

In Proverbs 1:8, Solomon is said to be speaking to his son. Often, good and proper instruction will come from those around us. It is often through these people that we hear what good decisions we ought to make and how to avoid bad decisions.

Guard against peer pressure through proper judgment

Solomon goes on to speak of the way that we must learn to evaluate people and situations in our lives. Scripture says, “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not” (Prov. 1:10).

For Solomon to say such a thing, the logical conclusion seems to be that the Christian has to evaluate the lives of those around him. By highlighting “sinners” (people who disobey God’s law), Solomon’s son would have needed to know what to look for and what to avoid.

In doing the same, the Christian is able to avoid sinful situations and sinful people that will lead him astray.

Guard against peer pressure by refusing to consent

This point may be one of the hardest steps along the way for many. This is the point in which contact is made between two parties and a decision must be made. “Do I choose the Lord, or do I choose man?” is the question of the occasion.

In Proverbs 1:10, Solomon says, “consent thou not.” It is a simple statement that is loaded with emotional baggage in the heat of the moment. This word consent is “abah” in the Hebrew language. It has to do with being willing.

Therefore, the Christian must not be willing to follow man rather than God during these times of pressure.

Guard against peer pressure by evaluating what is said through the Word of God

In order to fight against peer pressure, the Christian will need a guide that will not let him down. He will need to know what a wrong decision and what a right, God-honoring decision look like. This can be found in the Word of God.

Solomon says, “If they say…” (Prov. 1:11-14). He goes on to tell a number of ways in which the sinner will seek to entice. From this, what can be gained is a type of “they say this… but the Bible says this…” approach.

To fight against peer pressure, the Christian must take what is being said and evaluate it with the Word of God.

Guard against peer pressure by fighting against temptation

Peer pressure can be tempting. As a result, Solomon does not leave this dynamic out of his advice on how to fight against peer pressure: “If they say… We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse” (Prov. 1:10, 13-14).

The Christian must recognize that during times of peer pressure, promises are being made. Promises such as, “We will like you if you do what we say,” or, “You will be accepted if you act like us,” are not directly stated, but they, and ones like them, are the underlying promises during times of temptation to peer pressure.

Do not consent, but rather fight against peer pressure.

Guard against peer pressure by watching the company you keep

To avoid ungodly peer pressure, it is of the utmost importance to watch the company that you keep. Scripture says, “My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path” (Prov. 1:15).

A simple illustration can be used to depict the reality of the challenges that arise from keeping bad company.

If you were to stand on a table and someone else was to stand on the ground, it would be very hard for you to pull the person on the ground up to the table. Try as you might, more often than not, you will fail.

However, if the person who is standing on the ground seeks to pull you down to the ground, it will prove to be very easy for him. This gives us a picture of what has a tendency to happen when people do not watch the company they keep. It is much easier for someone to pull you down than it is for you to try to pull someone up.

If someone is a bad influence on you and is leading you away from the Lord, it would be better to choose someone new to hang out with.

Guard against peer pressure by recognizing the end

After all is said and done, the ways of the wicked will be revealed. Knowing the end from the beginning can be helpful in making proper decisions.

Solomon leaves us with a final thought on how to guard against temptation: “And they wait for their own blood… So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof” (Prov. 1:18-19).

The Bible is full of warnings concerning where sin will lead. It is full of warnings concerning what will happen if one chooses the world instead of God.

Take note of these warnings. Guard against peer pressure by remembering what the end is for those that do not heed the warnings found in the Bible.

Final prayer

Father, I recognize that there are times in my life when I give into peer pressure. I find that I am tempted to please those around me, but I pray that You would help me to be more firm in my relationship with Christ.

Christ desired to please You, Father, and I pray that You would make me like Him. Teach me Your Word, and help me to evaluate each and every situation through it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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