Who Do You Want to Fit in With?

Sensible Advice for Christian Men Dealing with Peer Pressure

Who Do You Want to Fit in With?
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Does peer pressure end at high school? For most of us, the answer is no. Even long into adulthood, we continue to pursue the feeling of security that comes from "fitting in." Christian men are no exception. Continuing in his series of resources for Christian men, Jack Zavada of Inspiration-for-Singles.com offers sensible advice to men who are struggling with the need to fit in.

Who Do You Want to Fit in With?

All of us want to fit in, and Christian men are no exception.

But we open ourselves to trouble when we want to fit in so badly that we leave our Christian beliefs behind to be one of the guys. Surprisingly, men can be more susceptible to this temptation than women.

Maybe it's the way we tease each other. From high school on, we can't stand anybody ridiculing us. If your friends went out for the basketball team, maybe you did too, even if you didn't like basketball. Otherwise there would have been something "wrong" with you, which your buddies would have quickly homed in on.

We can fall into the same trap in college, if the guys we run with experiment with drugs or go to beer parties. We can't seem to muster up whatever it takes to say, "Nah. That's not right and I'm not going to do it."

Why Nobody Wants to Be "Peculiar"

We get a feeling of security from fitting in. We enjoy the camaraderie, the satisfaction of being accepted by others. Fitting in is more fun than being a loner.

The danger comes when we're more concerned about fitting in with people than with God. There can be a big difference.

The King James Version of the Bible, with its sometimes outdated English, describes what God intends for his followers:

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:14 KJV)

Peculiar in that instance means "special" or "set apart, like no other." But we don't want to be set apart. We want to fit in with a group, and often we're miserable if we don't.

Whether it's a herd instinct or a man's natural desire to be appreciated, we find it easier to go along than to step away. Stepping away can mean aligning yourself with God instead of your buddies. That's tough to do.

Society's Expectations for Men

Let's face it. Our culture sets pretty low expectations for men. Everywhere is the message that real men are promiscuous and that it's cool to sleep with as many women as possible. We're supposed to throw money around on cars, motorcycles, designer clothes and shoes, and electronic gadgets. That's just what men do, right?

Or do they? Who said society knows best? What proof is there that modern culture is getting it right? Where's the wisdom in letting somebody else do your thinking for you?

Here's what it comes down to: When you give all these expectations a good, hard look, it doesn't take long to spot the shallowness in them. What do they lead to? A string of broken relationships, maybe even STDs? A mountain of debt for a pile of outmoded junk that some advertising agency said you must have?

Coming to Our Senses

We're all the Prodigal Son. Some of us come to our senses and others never do. The challenge in life is not to run with the pack, but to have enough guts to let God set you apart. If you think following Christ would cramp your style today, think about an eternity in hell. Now that will cramp your style.

Jesus told us to expect rejection if we follow him, and it's true that modern Christians are pegged as narrow-minded and naïve. One comedian even said we have a mental disorder.

Odd that while Jesus' followers are often accused of being intellectually inferior, no one has been able to claim that Christ himself was gullible or incapable of profound thinking. In 2,000 years, no other teacher has even approached the simultaneous simplicity and complexity that Jesus conveyed.

Ultimately, it comes down to believing that Christ was not just a great teacher, but the Son of God who alone is able to offer us salvation.

Every human being, including guys who want to fit in, has to choose one way or the other. There's no middle ground.

I don't know about you, but I'm betting my life on somebody who rose from the dead. I don't care if they do call me peculiar. That's who I want to fit in with.