Have you ever made the decision like I have when I was younger, to give into peer pressure when someone puts pressure on you to do something you know is wrong for you as a follower of Jesus? Just because someone or everyone is doing something, doesn’t make it right for a Christian. God warns, “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong.” (Exodus 23:2)
We have been following in Daniel 3, the lives of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who were sold-out champion worshipers of God. They faced serious pressure to bow down and worship King Nebuchaddnezzar’s 90 foot tall, gold fake idol when they heard the sound of the music. Everyone bowed down but these guys. They didn’t follow the crowd and do wrong by worshiping another God. They refused, knowing it meant certain death in the blazing furnace.
Music was used to capture the hearts of the people and prepare them to bow down and worship the idol statue. All the Christians in the crowd bowed down and broke the first commandment of God, “Do not worship any other gods besides me. You must never bow down to them, for I, the Lord your God am a jealous God who will not share your affections with any other God.” (Exodus 20:3) Anyone or any thing you worship other than the one true Jehovah God of the Universe is to disobey God. It’s called SIN. An idol can be anything you love more than God or anything God asks you to surrender to Him and you can’t. It could be a job, sports, hobbies and… even MUSIC! Is your music your God? If you can’t give ungodly music up for God, it could be an idol.
Why don’t believers resist peer pressure? Fear! When you take a stand for God, perhaps you won’t have to fear death, but maybe rejection, verbal or physical abuse, being ignored, never getting invited to a party, sitting alone in the lunchroom or loss of so-called friends, maybe even Christian friends. You’ll suffer for doing what’s right in God’s sight but God has a blessing in store for you. “But eve if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t be afraid and don’t worry. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life.” (1 Peter 3:14-15)
When you give into peer pressure, you give someone else power over your life. You can become their personal puppet on a string. They can pull the strings of your life controlling what you do. You give them permission to control your thinking, decision making and behavior. Some people even stop thinking for themselves. Do you want to be someone’s puppet on a string and let them lead you in the wrong direction and even towards sinning? That’s not what a good friend is all about.
Search your heart right now. Are you giving into peer pressure to do something you know God says isn’t right for you? Do you say NO when asked to go to an R-rated movie, drinking, doing drugs, lying, stealing, cheating, bad attitudes, watching TV programs full of ungodly themes and messages, full of profanity, sex scenes and more things God hates? How about your music? Can you stop listening to the same ungodly music your lost friends or even Christian friends listen to in order to honor God?
Whatever it is, if you fear what your friends may think, say or do if you turn from it and say No, more than than fearing what God thinks, you need to change your thinking. If you say you love Jesus, you need to trust Him to give you the grace you need to live an uncompromising, obedient walk with Jesus. It’s a fear that says, “God, above anyone or anything else, I give you the reverence, honor, respect and affection you rightly deserve. I am in awe of you, I love you, you are all-powerful, holy, almighty and awesome.”
Is it more important for you to honor and obey God or compromise? Can you trash your ungodly music even if your friends make fun of you because what God thinks means more to you than anything else in your own little world? Can you say, “I won’t do it,” to something everyone else is doing you know grieves the heart of God?