Welcome to the second part of my treatise on peer pressure. If you haven’t read the first part check it out here.
Every human being is born with the need to belong; there is a longing in everyone’s heart to be part of “something”. That’s why children in a family need to know that they are an integral part of the family. In the same vein, the new kid in school wants to be accepted by his peers. So also the new staff works hard to be accepted as part of the team.
Nobody wants to stick out like a sore thumb in any environment. Fitting in is the easiest thing to do at all times or is it? Sometimes the cost of fitting in is by far steeper than the pain of standing out.
It’s true that the natural inclination of any rational man (generic) is to tow the path of least resistance. But do you know what I’ve discovered? No one ever made it to greatness or significance in life by towing the path of least resistance.
Before we go far in this discuss, let’s consider the book of Romans 12: 2
King James Version
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Good News Translation
Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God – what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.
GOD’S WORD Translation
Don’t become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants–what is good, pleasing, and perfect.
The Message Bible
Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
I always like to give us bible verses in different translations so that we can have a broader understanding of the verse. You can go a step further to do a study of this verse on your own.
What is God’s Will For Us?
From the forgoing, we can infer that God’s will for every one of his children is to think like him. That means being holy and being holy means being set apart; one of a kind.
So when you refuse to be ruled by self image, status symbols or worldly values, you are being holy. When your idea of an ideal mum or dad or how to conduct yourself as a mature single woman is not from Instagram or social media; when you’d rather obey God than live by the rules of society you stand out.
Holiness is not defined by the cloths you wear, your jewelries, accessories or hairstyle (those are more like expressions of your personality and or upbringing).
In these days of social media popularity and fronting, a lot of people would love to be seen as standing out. They post contradictory messages and attack whatever seems to be a norm. I’ve seen many quotes that get thumbs up and likes just because they sound deep but sadly are not scripturally sound.
Standing out and daring to walk alone doesn’t mean condemning people or their way of life. It doesn’t mean being a social miscreant or rebel. Neither does it mean causing strife and sowing seeds of discord wherever you are.
Standing out means learning to walk the path that God has ordained for you. Following God’s blueprint for your life whether single or married, raising your children according to God’s purpose and being all that he has ordained for you to be.
Note that every individual has a blueprint from God; he knows our end from our beginning. He is the manufacturer who has given us the user manual for his product and that user manual is the bible.
God’s Blueprint/User Manual
If you want to be totally free of peer pressure, the most important tool is the renewing of your mind. We know from Romans 12:2 that the renewing of our minds would help us access God’s will for our lives.
When you consult your manufacturer’s manual regularly, you would understand what to do and what not to do. That’s the process of renewing your mind.
Most user manuals would include the following sections:-
- The name of the product and other identification information (may also include materials used in manufacturing the product)
- The features or characteristics of the product
- How the product functions and what it can do
- Instruction for installation, Use and Maintenance
- Precautions, Safety code and other related guidelines
- Frequently asked questions
- A section that gives technical support for troubleshooting
- Warranty statements
Do you know that the bible contains all these sections about your life? You are the product, God is the manufacturer and the bible is the user manual.
Let me give you a fun challenge; look at all the sections of the above sample table of contents of a user manual and use it for a bible study plan.
For example; day one would be a study on number one on the above table of content. So I would go online and look for bible passages that define who I am (what did God call me when he made me?). Then I would go on to find out who I am in Christ Jesus; I would type in “bible verses about who I am in Christ Jesus” etc.
From there I would move on to item two on the list. Try this and you’ll be amazed at the treasures you’ll uncover. Furthermore, you’ll be so engrossed in this challenge that you’ll not have time to check out what other people are doing with their lives. What’s more, you’ll be delivered from the pressure of keeping up with the Joneses.
I started out this piece with some ideas that I wanted to share about practical steps on how to combat peer pressure. Little did I know that the Holy Spirit would steer my thoughts the way he did.
I invite you to join me in exploring our user manual; get in on the challenge today!