The past month or two I’ve been seeing lots of chain posts on social media and it’s reminded me of something that is very dangerous – peer pressure + going with what is socially accepted or deemed as “normal.” Most of the time these days people don’t see the danger in going with the flow in the little things, and that is why I want to share today why peer pressure and going with the flow is a very dangerous road to take.
Years ago, there were “chain letters” or “chain emails.” Basically, it was a message in some form that said you had to send this to someone else, or forward it, or you would be “cursed.”
Nowadays, there are lots of Instagram/Facebook/other various forms of social media posts saying things that are similar – you have to repost if you see it, if you’re that person’s friend then you’ll repost, if you actually love Jesus than you will repost or post a Scripture, or if you get a question that is on the post wrong you’ll have to repost. Sometimes, these posts won’t even say you have to repost, until you get trapped and find out.
You might be reading this and thinking : So, what’s wrong with these things? Well, on the surface, there’s really not much seemingly wrong – they’re just fun posts, right?
Wrong. They can be time-wasters, and things that truly don’t even matter. I believe that if we truly are someone’s friend, or a lover of Christ, whether or not we repost or post something someone else told us to post won’t matter. How we are living matters, not if we repost something saying we love Jesus. I believe that if someone truly loves God, all of their life will show it – whether it be relationships with others, or what we post on social media – all should honor God. Whether or not we post a chain post that’s going around will not get us “brownie points” with God, and if you have real friends, it should not matter whether or not you repost something. That’s peer pressure, and true friends don’t pressure each other to do things like that.
I was just talking to some friends the other day, and we were sarcastically saying we should all try to be “normal people” when we are older, and how that is the biggest and greatest life goal to have. It was a joke, of course, but it got me thinking. When someone says that they want to be normal, what even is “normal?” In our society, normal changes every single day. Furthermore, there isn’t really a normal person we can compare ourselves to and try to measure up to, because WE ALL ARE UNIQUE HUMAN BEINGS. None of us are “normal” because normal has never existed. Jesus wasn’t even normal – He was unusual and radical, because He’s God’s Son. I think it’s sad that our culture gets so caught up in trying to be normal and accepted, when that doesn’t even exist.
It might sound harsh, but you will never be normal, and you will never be accepted by everyone. But you know what? That is perfectly ok. Disclaimer: I’m not normal either! In fact, I’m far from it! I’m pretty odd. We are all sinners who have been saved by an amazing Savior, so we can live a life for Him. As much as we wish for it, none of us will ever be perfect.
What matters more than following others, and posting chain posts, is following Jesus, and striving to be holy, as He is holy. HE is our ultimate example. Normal doesn’t exist and never will, which is why we need to look to Yeshua Jesus as our example to live by. He came and fulfilled the Law and showed us how to walk, so we might walk as He walked.
1 John 2:4-6 // One who says, “I know him,” and doesn’t keep his commandments, is a liar, and the truth isn’t in him. But whoever keeps his word, God’s love has most certainly been perfected in him. This is how we know that we are in him: he who says he remains in him ought himself also to walk just like he walked.
Even if you are doing something as simple as posting chain posts, I encourage you to check your heart and ask yourself, do I let others dictate how I live? Chain posts may seem innocent, but many do them with the wrong motives.
Or, maybe you let others influence how you dress, what you say, or even your actions. I encourage you to spend some time in prayer and ask God to show you any areas of compromise to peer pressure in your life, and for Him to give you the boldness to walk like the Savior, and not like the world.
To close, I want to share some verses on living a life for Jesus. May you be encouraged to live like our Savior, and not like this world.
1 Peter 1:13-16 // Therefore prepare your minds for action, be sober, and set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ— as children of obedience, not conforming yourselves according to your former lusts as in your ignorance, but just as he who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all of your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy; for I am holy.”
1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 // For God called us not for uncleanness, but in sanctification. Therefore he who rejects this doesn’t reject man, but God, who has also given his Holy Spirit to you.
Romans 12:1-2 // Therefore I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.
Matthew 7:13-14 // “Enter in by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter in by it. How narrow is the gate, and restricted is the way that leads to life! Few are those who find it.