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Friday, May 22, 2009

Teenage Peer Pressure

Peer pressure means that friends put pressure on you to do something you may not want to do. They may urge you to cheat, steal, or say something to someone that makes you feel uncomfortable. That is negative peer pressure.

But there is a positive peer pressure as well. Your friends may talk you into going to church (Mass), to help them spread the Gospel (the good news) to others, or give food for needy people, or perhaps go to a youth group. This is positive peer pressure, and can do much good.

The problem with negative peer pressure is always this: If you give in to your friends (your “peers”), you may feel guilty or even get into trouble. But you are afraid that if you refuse to give in, you will lose their friendship or respect. What do you do?

Is it easier for Christians?

In some ways, peer pressure is easier for Christians to resist than it is for non-Christians. At first this may not seem so, because Christians should have a higher moral standard than non-Christians, which theoretically puts more pressure on the Christian.

Satan doesn't pressure unsaved people like he does Christians, because unsaved people pose no threat to him. But Satan will try to get a Christian to turn to drugs, alcohol, pornography, and so on.
The Bible says "Resist the devil and he will flee from you." (James 4:7). So Christians can resist him. But if you give in to him you will lose your closeness to God, and not have the desire to be as useful to Him.

But Christians have a greater sense of right and wrong than non-Christians do, so their values sometimes allow them to say no quickly to anything that is dishonest or wrong.
As a Christian you always have the strongest person on your side: God is always the majority!
When you take a stand for what's right, you are taking a stand for God, and God's side is always the winning side. In this sense, Christians do have it easier, because God promises never to abandon us.
Any never forget the power of the sacraments. Partaking in the sacraments routinely (Eucharist, Confession) allows for additional grace to infuse into your being and give you wisdom, strength, fortitude, and understanding to withstand and avoid the trappings of sin.
Good advice from the Bible
Negative peer pressure is just another name for temptation. The Bible gives some wonderful examples of people who resisted temptation. James 4:7, which says to submit yourself to God, for if you resist the devil he will flee from you.

Keep in mind that even Jesus Christ was tempted, but not successfully:
by Satan (Matthew 4:1–10)
by the Jewish leaders (Matthew 16:1)
by Peter, His faithful disciple (Matthew 16:23).

Job withstood enormous temptation to give in to Satan. He resisted and did right simply because it was right.

Jesus made several comments about resisting temptation.
At the last supper (Matthew 26:41) He said the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, so we are to watch and pray that we will not fall into temptation.
Part of the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:13) says, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

God knows how to rescue us

In 2 Peter 2:9 we read that the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation.
And 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us that God is faithful and will not allow temptation beyond what we can resist.

God can deliver us from temptation and negative peer pressure if we pray for it. But we should pray the temptation does not arise. If it does, say no quickly and get away from the difficulty. Even if the results from doing right don't seem promising, they will turn out for the best in the end.
What If I fail and fall into sin - all is not lost.
Run to confession as quick as you can. Speak the sin out loud to the priest and free yourself from the shackles that bind so tight when there is a secrete in your heart and soul.
The longer you hold that sinful secrete inside of you, the longer you are affected by the sin and have lost some of the strength to resist additional sin. The devil kicks his efforts into high gear when you are wounded and will hit you with additional temptations and will try to kick you when you down.
Get help quickly and kill the infection......... A healthy soul is like a health body.

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