Peer Pressure: A Christian Stumbling Block

stumble

Within Christianity there can be a number of perceived stumbling blocks that stops people from taking an honest look at the claims of Christianity. Obviously a single post is not going to be able to identify all of them nor deal adequately with refuting them because of the number and complexity of the various issues.

So what I’m going to do in this post is provide a quick review of just one of the issues that stopped me from looking at Christianity early in my adult life, with the hope that looking at this issue may strike a cord with you, if you’ve never looked at the claims of Jesus Christ.

PEER PRESSURE

I think that one of the biggest deterrents young adults face is the general consensus of their peers. We live in a materialistic world where any real declared purpose or ultimate accountable agency is denied and to ignore that, from my way of thinking, is to ignore reality. Most of us have a desire to fit in with those that we work and socialize with. And what that basically means is that we don’t want to deliberately be the odd man or woman out in the crowd. So what most of us do, especially when we’re at the beginning of our adult years, is to take a look at what others believe about the world around us, which includes the concept of God, and try to blend in with the common consensus.

And of course, because we’re not talking about issues that are simplistic and easily resolved, it takes a considerable investment of time and dedication, which is a scarce commodity in our modern world, to actually do any in-depth investigation into the claims of Christianity. So unless we’re facing a critical life issue, “going with the flow” is a decision that is much easier and which much of humanity follows, and that is understandable.

And because we do live in a materialistic world, where the “educated” and “street wise” logic is to not believe in God, or allow any imposed moralistic restrictions on our freedoms of choice, especially when it comes to pursuing sexual encounters and self gratification, in a wide host of variations, the “going with the flow” mindset fits in well with the materialistic mentality that we are in essence, the Captains of our own ship.

And, if there were no consequences to this “go with the flow” mentality, then this mindset would obviously work well for all of us. But, as I am sure you can identify with, there are consequences and it is only when we begin to realize and encounter the limitations that our own humanistic strengths and weaknesses impose upon ourselves and others that we may care for, coupled with the reality of decisions that others also make, and how the decisions of others can influence and modify our own perceived freedoms, that the repercussions of not looking down the road with regard to the probability of negative consequences, exposes us to reality, as it really is, and not as we necessarily want to perceive it.

This is when young adults come face to face with one of life’s early lessons, namely, that the decisions that we make, both for ourselves and those that we may love, do have consequences and these consequences are just as real as the “liberated lifestyle” that we have adopted as our prevailing world view.

And what are some of these negative consequences you ask? Well I can’t identify all of them but I will identify a number of the big ticket items associated with “going with the flow” mindset:

  • broken and damaged relationships
  • developed variable dependency on alcohol or drugs
  • lowering of one’s personal perceived standards
  • sexual transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies
  • beginning of awareness of personal weaknesses with regard to pride and self indulgence
  • beginning of awareness of life’s realities without adequate preparation and understanding
  • education and financial achievement goals with corresponding limitations and implications on what we are willing to do to achieve what we want to achieve that includes both the positives and the negatives

And, as you probably already know, the list can and does grow substantially. And what I did and I suspect that I am not alone, is develop an outward mask that portrays the imagine that I wanted others to accept about me, while at the same time keeping my own insecurities and uncertainties locked up within, out of sight from others.

This was me when I was in my early twenties. Can you identify with where I was?

I can’t possibly outline the steps that I went through to get to the place where I am now in this post. But what I can do is point you to a truth that I now accept with no qualms whatsoever.

John 14:6 ESV “ Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

This statement that Jesus made affirms the following:

  • God is real and will always remain real, whether you believe it or not
  • God’s love extends out to you through His Son Jesus Christ, you can accept it or reject it
  • God has a purpose for you in this life that He has given you
  • We are accountable for the decisions that we make and being the Captain of our ship doesn’t even begin to bring us close to being at one with God. We need a Savior.
  • We can’t, in and of ourselves, change all of our own deficiencies or all our reactions to the world as it is, without God’s help
  • God sent His Son, to do for us, what we in ourselves could never do
  • God knows you better than you know yourself, He knows every little detail, all the good things you’ve done and all the bad, and He and He alone can change you to what you can be in Him, when you ask Jesus to be the Captain of your ship.
  • Jesus is the way to God the Father
  • Jesus is the truth about God the Father
  • Jesus is the life that God the Father offers, here and now and for all eternity,  through His Son.

One path restores our union with God, the other confirms our reliance on ourselves.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About

Disciple of Jesus, married to Peggy, with 5 grown up children, 7 grand children, ex-Canadian military and residing in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. a.k.a. "Papa"

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