May 1, 2016
They are surprised that you do not join them
in their reckless, wild living,
and they heap abuse on you.
1 PETER 4:5
The “they” Peter is talking about here is the world. Wikipedia defines peer pressure as “the influence a peer group, observers, or an individual exerts that encourages others to change their attitudes, values, or behaviors to conform to those of the influencing group or individual.”
This coming Sunday, our sermon text in 1 Peter will hit the subject of peer pressure head on, as Jackson Randall reminds us of the struggle that each of us faces being “in the world but not of the world.”
Back in chapter 2, we were warned that evil desires wage war against our souls. But the difficulty in our day and age has become defining “evil desires.” Avoiding “reckless wild living” is critical if we are to “live our earthly lives…for the will of God.” 1 PETER 4:2 Both cannot mutually exist. One of them has to give to the other.
Psalm 1 reminds us of the path of blessing, and how keeping the world at arm’s length enables us to live fruitful lives here and now.
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.
That “Psalm 1 person” is protected by a continual exposure to God’s word, so that when the temptation of peer pressure comes in whatever form, our taste buds are repelled, seeking to relish those things which please the Lord.
Pray that the preached word will penetrate powerfully this Sunday, reminding us that with God’s help, it is possible to live lives worthy of the calling we have received. EPHESIANS 4:1