3 – Fear of Not Fitting In (Peer Pressure)
Theme verse: This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
Peer pressure: an outside influence or force that causes in a different pattern of speaking, thinking or action.
“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)
“Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong.” (Exodus 23:2)
“Whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire….O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, Your Majesty can be sure that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up… no other god can save in this way.” (Daniel 3:6-29)
* What does the Bible say about this?
* What do my parents think about this?
* Who am I trying to be accepted by?
* Can I just say no?
* Do I need to find help?
* Do I need to find a new circle of friends?
“For He Himself has said, “You must be holy because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16)
1. Surround yourself with support.
“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied….” (Daniel 3:16)
“A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
“Whoever walks with the wise will become wise; whoever walks with fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20)
2. Stick to your convictions.
“…you can be sure that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” (Daniel 3:18)
“Learn to do what is right!” (Isaiah 1:17)
3. Set your trust in God.
“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us.” (Daniel 3:17)
“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)
“And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with self-control, right conduct, and devotion to God…” (Titus 2:12)
– Where does your fear of not fitting in show up the most in your life? How do you tend to deal with it?
– When you think of peer pressure, what comes to mind? Where have you faced peer pressure the most already?
– How do you think Daniel and his buddies had the courage to not fear what others thought or to give in to the peer pressure?
– Todd talked about convictions? What are they? How do you develop them?
– How do you think you can face this fear of not fitting in better this week?