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Peer Pressure

"Just say no to drugs and alcohol." That's the slogan that may come to mind when thinking about peer pressure. It is a good idea to resist pressures from those around us to indulge in sinful behaviors such as becoming drunk (Eph. 5:18) and taking harmful drugs (1 Cor. 3:16-17). In the scenarios presented by some anti-drug programs, we are told to "just say no" if anyone offers a harmful substance to us. This seems like a simple and natural response, but the fact is that peer pressure comes in many different forms that may not fit this scenario. Our minds can be trained to find things less repulsive as we spend more time around them and around people who indulge in them. Even if we are surrounding ourselves with those who enjoy drugs or alcohol, we might not ever be directly asked to participate in the drinking or the drug use. The pressure can come from our own perceptions of the items as cool, fun, and harmless based on our personal experience with friends and the fact that they have not had any physical harm brought on them due to drugs or alcohol so far. We can also feel pressure from some friends neglecting to invite us to certain events and outings based on our attitude toward alcohol. Ads and commercials on TV, online, and in publications may promote alcohol by showing people having a good time and glorifying the sensation of preparing and drinking a glass. These pressures can be faced without ever having the opportunity to outright say "no" to an offer of alcohol or drugs (1 Cor.15:33).

The fact is that any sinful activity must be resisted just as much as drugs or alcohol. Drugs and alcohol are at least somewhat presented as harmful in media and promotional programs in schools, but other sinful activities are presented in positive ways by worldly media...

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Scott Carpenter
(Huntsville, AL)


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