June 9, 2022

            Peer Pressure

For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected him. And when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.  Mark 6:17

Have you ever felt pressured to do something you didn’t want to do?  Something that a friend or co-worker was pushing you to.  Maybe gossip or go behind someone’s back?  Maybe it was something worse like breaking the law or even crossing over one of your own personal boundaries.

Today’s scripture is probably the worst case of peer pressure in the bible.  The verse says that King Herod wanted to protect John the Baptist and that he personally held him in high regard.  However, he was convinced to have John executed because of an open promise he made in front of many witnesses and not just any witnesses, they were his high officers and the most important men of his region.  He felt so much pressure to not only impress them, but also to show his power that it cost the life of one of God’s prophets.

I always thought this was a demonic demonstration by King Herod, but instead it was just a king feeling the pressure of “important” people to do what they wanted and not what was the right thing to do. 

Pressure from our peers is something that we all feel.  Whether it is to go along with something they think or believe just so we can fit it or go along with them someplace where we shouldn’t be going.  It seems it is so much easier today than ever to cross the lines.

So, what is the solution?  First of all, setting boundaries and submitting your life and your day to God first thing each morning.  Asking your Father in heaven to protect you against the pressures of those around you and empowering you to walk away from groups that have pressured you in the past.  Make a fresh break from the influences that you know you are susceptible to, especially those who are not walking in the same direction that you are.

Today I want to encourage you to surrender all your thoughts, attitudes and actions over to your heavenly Father.  Set up a guard over your habits and decisions.  Make note of areas where you have compromised in the past and feel you may still be weak in and set up boundaries way before you get to the point of caving under pressure.  You may have to cut back on social media time or chatting at the “water cooler” at work, but you will not be missing anything.  Most of all, make the decision that you are going to walk out God’s plan for you life and not the plan of the ones trying to influence you.

Today’s scripture reading: Mark 6:14-30

14 Now King Herod heard of Him, for His name had become well known. And he said, “John the Baptist is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.”

15 Others said, “It is Elijah.” And others said, “It is the Prophet, or like one of the prophets.”

16 But when Herod heard, he said, “This is John, whom I beheaded; he has been raised from the dead!” 

17 For Herod himself had sent and laid hold of John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife; for he had married her. 

18 Because John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”

19 Therefore Herodias held it against him and wanted to kill him, but she could not; 

20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected him. And when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.

21 Then an opportune day came when Herod on his birthday gave a feast for his nobles, the high officers, and the chief men of Galilee. 

22 And when Herodias’ daughter herself came in and danced, and pleased Herod and those who sat with him, the king said to the girl, “Ask me whatever you want, and I will give it to you.” 

23 He also swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half my kingdom.”

24 So she went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist!”

25 Immediately she came in with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”

26 And the king was exceedingly sorry; yet, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he did not want to refuse her. 

27 Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded his head to be brought. And he went and beheaded him in prison, 

28 brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. 

29 When his disciples heard of it, they came and took away his corpse and laid it in a tomb.

Published by L. Lyden

Lynette is a recently published author and coordinator of Voices Magazine who endeavors to use her gifts and influence to encourage and promote aspiring writers. Her Daily Dose blog has been an outlet for her to encourage readers to walk closer to God each day. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who loves spending time and going on special outings with her family.

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