By Jerome Baker
Sooner or later you will have to deal with some type of peer pressure. Peer pressure is real and it is not limited to youth and young adults, even grown folks have to deal with peer pressure from time to time. Here are five quick tips to help young people properly deal with peer pressure.
1. Nobody can make you do anything.
There is always a choice. We often crack under pressure when we are fearful of rejection, ridicule, or retaliation. If you will be successful under pressure you can’t be worried about what people say and do. Don’t allow yourself to be forced to do something you know is not right. If your peers want to do wrong let them do it all by themselves. And if the pressure is to hard to handle, talk to a person that is mature and can be trusted, you are not alone.
2. Flip-flop the situation.
Misery loves company! Some folks just want you to do dirt with them. I have learned to flip-flop the situation. When someone puts the pressure on me, I flip it and put the pressure on them.
Dude: “Hey Bake…let’s go to the club. Let’s get our drink on and our sex on…you wit it?”
Me: “Bruh, is you crazy? I ain’t hearing that I’m trying to stay outta mess, but hey if you wanna go that’s on you. I’m saved now! As a matter of fact, I know I place we can go that’s better than the club!…”
Dude: “Fo real, where?”
Me: “Church….are you wit that?”
Dude: “Bake you trippin..”
Me: “Well, I’ll be a trip then… I gotta go”
See what I mean?…flip-flop it, take the pressure off you and reverse it!
3. Think about the consequences.
There is always something to lose when we make bad decisions under pressure. If you are like me, you have a lot to lose if you succumb to peer pressure. I have learned that some things just are not worth it. If I have to choose between acceptance from people or approval by God, God’s approval wins every time. Is caving to the pressure worth losing your anointing, position, influence, character, etc? Think about the consequences.
4. Don’t be scared to stand up for yourself
If you don’t stand up for yourself, everyone will walk all over you. People in the church and outside the church will consider you a pushover. Ask God for the courage to be bold in the mist of adversity and pressure. I have learned that when I consistently stand up for my own personal beliefs I build a reputation of not being easily influenced to do what is wrong. Stand up for yourself and peer pressure will not have be able to get a tight grip on you.
5. If you mess up, get up.
Sometimes we get caught up, the key is not to stay caught up. Simply repent (which means to turn), learn from your mistake and move forward. Then, the next time the pressure comes remember how you messed up the last time and be determined to make a better choice this time.
© Copyright 2014 Jerome A. Baker All rights reserved. Jerome Baker is a youth pastor at his local church in Carrollton Georgia and the author of two books, “Success Killers” and “Watch Who Hang With”. Like his FaceBook page at http://www.facebook.com/jabmin or Twitter http://www.twitter.com/_jabmim
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