As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 1 Peter 1:14. ESV
Boys will be boys, at least there is a lot of pressure as a young boy to try to fit in. Disclaimer, I am telling a story not recommending the action. There are a lot of different ways to play chicken. The winner is always the last one to stay in the game or on course. We played Mumbely-peg.
You stand with your feet shoulder length apart. Then you take your pocket knife and throw it end over end to make it stick in the ground between the other person’s feet. If it sticks then they have to move their foot to that position, which leaves less distance for the next throw. You lose if you flinch and move your feet when someone throws the knife, or you “chicken out” being afraid that the other guy is going to “stick” your foot. If it does stick in your foot, you win…but still lose. Totally unsafe, but one of the biggest and best short term adrenaline rushes.
Identifying peer pressure is much easier in hindsight. One of the easiest pressure points to spot in others is the chosen participation in certain activities. We see this most of the time in our young people. They go to dances and bars in which others are drinking, smoking and some drug usage. The usual explanation is “this is where everybody is going”. Don’t be deceived, “Bad company corrupts good morals”. I Corinthians 15:33,
The world’s answer is to “Just say NO!”, yet very few are successful with this mantra. It doesn’t provide enough strength to do something different. As Christians we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. Help comes to us by the presence of the Holy Spirit and the renewing of our minds with the word of God.
Galatians 5:16 tells us to “walk by the Spirit” and we will not gratify the desires of the flesh. To walk means to keep in step. Where He goes or leads we follow. The Spirit will always lead us toward truth, light, and into freedom. You will never be alone. We must teach people how to be “in step” with he Holy Spirit. He is the difference maker between trying to live by a set of rules or walking in the law of a loving relationship.
Jesus used the word of God to combat the thought attacks of the devil. Memorizing scriptures can be a great source of strength to withstand pressure. The word becomes a lighthouse for you to follow in the midst of the darkness and dangers underneath the water. The word of God is like a friend that snaps you out of an undesirable trance. The word of God is like the old western trumpet call sounding forth that the calvary is arriving. Hope springs forth.
Do not go where evil people go. Do not follow the example of the wicked. Avoid it. Do not walk near it. Turn away from it, and keep on walking. Proverbs 4:14-15. This is a verse that can help with a decision to go or not to go. The main thing is the Word of God opens up a conversation with God and not just the limitation of your circumstances.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. May you be free of the RUT of continuing in activities that erode your personal closeness to God.
Blessings Love y’all