10.24.17 – Gal 2:12

As a child I remember a day that I was invited to ride bikes with the older boys. I was elated and the thought of going with them to the trails off 360 was huge. As we were riding we came to what in my mind was a gigantic hill. Staring down to the bottom brought immediate fear. They of course, had been there and done that. I was terrified to follow them but I saw no “manly” way out of it. The harassment that would ensue if I walked my bike down that hill would be worse than any misfortune that hill could cause. So I reluctantly pointed my bike down the hill and off I went. My fears came to fruition in a matter of seconds, as I wiped out and skinned my leg badly. Oh well, such is life when you try to impress others.
1 Corinthians 10:13a- No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.
Nothing we experience in life hasn’t already seen its place on this earth, especially peer pressure.
As I mentioned above, in our youth we are subjected to peer pressure on a regular basis. Some of it is direct from others but in our attempt to fit in, a good deal comes from within. We project thoughts like, “if I do or don’t do “x” no one will like me”. Unfortunately it doesn’t stop in our youth.
Peter had such an incident that was witnessed by Paul. Peter had been communing with the Gentiles in Galatia until a contingent of legalistic believers, The Circumcision Party, entered the city. They still believed that all Gentiles must first become Jews before they could be given the Gospel of Jesus. Afraid, of what they would think of him, Peter withdrew from the Gentiles. He allowed peer pressure to direct his actions all along knowing it was the wrong thing to do. It is easy to criticize Peter; but every person knows what it means to do something that you know is wrong. Everyone knows what it feels like when social pressure pushes you towards compromise in some way.
As Christians we must not allow such pressures to change who we are in the moment. It is in these opportunities that others see where our faith truly lies. We can best lead others to know Jesus by being true to our convictions, especially in the face of rejection.
Galatians 2:12 – For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party.