Think about the last time you considered doing something you knew was a bad idea . . . and then did it anyway. Don’t worry, you don’t have to say what you did. Just think about it.
- What motivated you to make your bad decision? What part did peer pressure from another person—maybe even one of your friends—play in your bad decision? (Answers will vary, but most students will acknowledge that peer pressure had a lot to do with their bad decision. Be prepared to share about a bad decision/peer pressure experience when you were young.)
Let’s take a look at an example of a teen who made a bad decision on the road.
Play the following video for your students [2:21]:
Teen gets pulled over for speeding over 130 Miles Per Hour!
We can’t know exactly what made this teen make this bad decision. Perhaps he wanted to test the limits of the car and see if he could get away with excessive speeding. Maybe he was trying to copy a speeding car scene from a movie or video game. Or, he could have heard his peers talking about their own speeding and decided to try it for himself.
People make bad decisions for all sorts of reasons. Maybe we don’t any know better. Maybe we’re in a bad mood. But often, we do dumb things because of what our friends will think. Maybe you think you’re too smart for that, but chances are, you probably made a crummy decision because of peer pressure in the past week. All of us have—even supposedly “mature” adults!
- Why do you think people give in to peer pressure? (Essentially, we want others to like us.)
There’s nothing wrong with wanting people to like us. However, winning cool points is never worth betraying your values. The Bible warns us to be careful when we choose our friends. It’s better to avoid temptation in the first place by choosing your friends wisely.
Ask King Solomon. He began as a ruler who was committed to following God. At the end of his life, however, other people led him to make some really lousy decisions. Let’s read about it in the Book of 1 Kings.