What you can do
First, realize that you have to take responsibility for your own actions—regardless of what your friends do.
Second, identify the pressure that exerts the strongest force on you.
Next, ask yourself, ‘When is this pressure most likely to occur?’ (While at school? While at work? Other?) Knowing when pressure is likely to occur might even help you to avoid it altogether.
Now, you’re ready to take action. Your first priority is to figure out how to minimize or eliminate contact with the pressure. (Example: If after school you regularly encounter classmates who urge you to smoke with them, perhaps you could alter your route to avoid crossing their path.) Reality check: “Friends” who pressure you to do bad things are not really your friends.
Of course, you can’t avoid all pressure. Sooner or later, you will probably be confronted with a particularly powerful enticement—perhaps when you least expect it. What can you do about that?
The key is to be prepared!
Consider: Jesus knew where he stood on moral issues. He was determined to obey his Father at all times. (John 8:28, 29) The key, then, is to know in advance where you stand.
Exercise. See if you can think of two reasons why you should resist the pressure you most often face, and then think of two actions you could take that would help you to do so.
School, recreation, peers, parents, life changes, your feelings, and the opposite sex are among the subjects discussed.
Peer pressure can make good people do bad things. What should you know about it, and how can you deal with it?
YOUNG PEOPLE ASK
Is it worth giving in? Will you regret it?