Just wanted to share a quick thought from my Bible Study this morning. Reading about the events leading up to the crucifixion of Christ I read the passage where Pilate has Christ standing before him and he is caught between what he believes to be the right thing to do and the will of the people.
“From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” – John 19:12
The devotional goes on to tell a story of a mother who sits her son down to give him some advice:
“If you are running with the wrong crowd, then you are the wrong crowd. Don’t expect to stay out of trouble if you are putting yourself in places where trouble can be found.”
Pilate was a man with power, but it was limited power. He had attained a position that brought benefits as long as he kept Caesar happy, but part of keeping Caesar happy required that he keep the Jews happy-ish. There was an inherent struggle there that made that aspect of the job quite difficult, and then Jesus enters the scene and brings all kinds of upheaval to the Jewish leaders.
All the people following Jesus caused the Jewish leaders to feel threatened which made them start looking for a way to take Jesus down. They were stuck, so they used the only real tool they had – Pilate and the Roman Empire. As we know, eventually Pilate caves in and order Jesus to be crucified.
Pilate is the perfect example of a guy who knew the right thing to do, but let the external influences dictate his decision. He was a smart guy, able to see exactly what was happening, but he feared for his standing in the eyes of Caesar and the Jewish people. He caved in.
I’m not looking down on him for that though. Not my position to judge, and who knows what I might have done in the same situation? What I am saying is that in looking at him I can see a warning against the damaging effects of peer pressure. It can take you to a place where you KNOW you are doing the wrong thing just because of the pressure from those around you.
If I want to have a Relentless Life, I need to make sure that when I am in a tough spot, I take the time to:
- Pray – I need wisdom, strength, and protection to make a good choice
- Remember – What does God say about the situation? What guidelines are in the Word to help me make a right choice?
- Pray again – For the words to say that will rightly articulate my decision to do the right thing without bringing pain to the situation.
- Speak/Act – Do what needs to be done in obedience to God
- Pray again – That God will get praise and glory for my right actions, and that He will forgive me where I may have allowed my own agenda to take control.
Peer Pressure is something we all face, but if we take the time to pray and think before we act, we will see Relentless Growth come out of it!