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Topic: Peer Pressure (07/05/04)
TITLE: WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN?
By Angela Williams
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Consider if you will the situation experienced by Peter and some of the disciples as recorded in St John chapter 21. Jesus, the messiah and leader, had been arrested, crucified and buried. Peter, the forthright, intrepid fisherman had denied that he knew him and now these former fishers of men, who had walked with and been taught by the master, were standing by the seaside. It is highly likely that their discussion had centred on the events of the past week. There they waited, leaderless and in confusion.
Peter, the unofficial spokesman, not used to being at a loose end, made a decision (v:3); “I go fishing.” I believe that in that time of despair, it was easy to go back to what was familiar. The others, some of whom were not known to be fishermen, responded, “we go with thee.”
Peer pressure thrives when there is lack of focus and confusion. Listen to the reformed Peter, speaking in his epistle (1 Pet. 5:8), “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” His advice is as valid today as it ever was. Whatever the situation, sobriety and vigilance help to provide focus, especially when we have an enemy who plays dirty and is intent on destruction.
A nice touch to the dilemma of the disciples was the appearance of Jesus, just at the time when they were even more frustrated at having toiled all night and caught nothing. He will always come through when the chips are down. His calm instruction and tender care provide the focus and sustenance that we need. When the enemy sends distractions via peer pressure, let us keep our hearts and minds on Jesus. He knows the way that we take!