Today, read Proverbs 1:1-19.
Peer pressure is one of the strongest influencers of young people. Whether it is actual pressure from others to do what everyone else is doing or a desire to fit in and not stand out from everyone else, people who are transitioning from childhood to adulthood experience a strong desire to fit in.
As Solomon wrote Proverbs to share wisdom with his son (vv. 1-6, 8a), he wanted his son to understand how dangerous peer pressure is. His simple advice is, “just say no” (v. 10, 15) when they try to get you to join them in sin. They may make a compelling case that their sin will be fun or prosperous (vv. 11-14), but there will be severe consequences for those who follow the leader in these sins (vv. 17-19).
Since peer pressure is such a strong force, how does one develop the willpower to say no to it? Verse 7: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Do you reverence and worship the Lord? Do you believe his promise that you will reap what you sow? Do you understand that he sees all things perfectly and will call all of us to account for how we’ve lived our lives? Do you believe that his way will lead to blessing in the long term and that sin will lead to pain and destruction?
Because, the truth is, peer pressure works on us, too, as adults. We face temptations to live materialistically or to assent to the world’s thinking on moral issues or whatever. This is why we need to cultivate a daily walk with the Lord and be active in the local church. God uses these things to strengthen our fear of him so that we can withstand the temptations around us.