The influence and pressure of those around us can be a powerful force.
Jesus had much to say about authentic faith, and wasn’t interested in outward appearances or social standing. One of His statements regarding the powerful “culture police” was this:
“Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” –Luke 12:1b NKJV
In the Jewish world of the first century, the Pharisees were social bullies and dominated the public discourse. By default, words, doctrines and attitudes acceptable to them was trendy. Speaking their “language”, being a fan of their preferences, and criticizing everyone else, helped to get their affirmation and acceptance.
As followers of Jesus, we must be careful to construct our words, doctrines and attitudes on Him (and His Word). The wind of peer influence is always blowing. Sometimes it’s a gentle breeze among friends and family, but other times it’s an aggressive squall. In today’s world, the idea of tolerance has become the supreme standard by which all others are measured. Debate is no longer about inherent truth, but the opinions of a few making their voices heard. So, as the social climate changes, and the wind picks up, what will your actions and words be based on?