Jill Jarrell Newsome
Peer Pressure At Any Age
When I was 12 I went to my first concert at Carowinds! Andy Gibb! That's right, my heart throb! I took my friend, Barbara, and Dad (he "endured Andy's girly voice") went and stood through the concert with us. Andy wiped his sweat on a towel and threw it in the crowd. The girls were fighting over it and my dad reached up and got me a piece of the towel. About a square inch but it went in my scrapbook!
Since I was a seasoned concert goer another friend asked me to go to Carowinds with her the next year to see her heartthrob, Leif Garrett! And her dad did not go in with us! Leif sang, "if I were a carpenter and you were a lady..." we all screamed "YES!" Then he sang, "would you marry me" and all of us screamed "YES!' The next line, "would you have my baby?" Well he had drawn the line! My friend and I looked at each other so embarrassed and did not say anything! I remember she and I watched all around us as girls our age yelled, YES! We were definitely in the minority. Because I was a seasoned concert goer I told her to follow me when the concert was over. Everyone else was leaving and we got the cup Leif was drinking out of! And being the good friend I was I tore it in half so we could each put it in our scrap book!
Now I realize that I was not thinking about going with the crowd at that moment. We did not have time to think about what we were going to do. I was not giving it any thought but I did know that I was not raised to talk like that and that he and I were not married. That is why my friend and I were embarrassed. She and I do not get any credit for that but our parents do. I knew right from wrong and that did not feel right. Maybe it sounds silly to you now but I still remember that moment like it was yesterday.
I am so thankful that I was not one of the 13 year olds that was yelling, "YES!" Because all these years later I know what had been instilled in me. I had always been told not to follow the crowd. Exodus 23: 2, " Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd..."
Sometimes the temptation to “follow the crowd in doing wrong” is almost more than we can handle. Because we crave other's acceptance so much, we can often do what we know to be wrong simply so that others will like us. If pleasing others is more important than doing what is right then it will wreak havoc in our lives. This is true, not only for young girls but for anybody! I know adults who find it hard to stand up to the crowd!
Adults can give in to social pressures trying to keep up with others and that can certainly wreak havoc in your life! Trying to keep up with others can be exhausting because someone will always have bigger, better and more! You will never be at peace when in competition.
Instead of living for "the crowd" we need to live for the ONE! When we desire to honor the Lord we will want to do what He desires. No matter what others think. And because we have the Spirit living inside of us He will empower us to follow Him and not the crowd! We need to pray for our desire to honor God to be stronger than any need for human approval. God needs us to influence others and we can not do that if we are people-pleasers!
1 Peter 2: 9, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." We are chosen! We are His special possession which means we BELONG to Him! We are one of His representatives!
It’s time to stop trying to please others and live for the one who is already pleased with us!