About 5 years ago I watched my daughter and her friend do something they thought was going to be fun but turned out to be a bad idea. Let me set the stage: I was busy inside the house and saw my daughter and her friend outside when I passed by the window. They seemed to be trying to figure something out. I went on with my work inside not thinking much about it. Little did I know they had come up with some hair-brained idea to tie a rope from the back of my daughter’s bike to my grandmother’s wheel chair (No my grandmother was not in the wheel chair). Looking back, it all seemed like it was moving in slow motion when I realized what was happening. I remember yelling, “Nooooo ssstopp!!” and diving at the door with my cat like reflexes when I saw what was going down in my driveway. Due to the fact that I was inside they could not hear me and I was too late to stop what was happening.
They went flying down the driveway. My daughter’s friend was on the bike and my daughter was in the wheel chair. Thankfully after all my years of harping on the kids about helmets both girls had them on. What seemed like a good idea at first became a bad idea when the driveway ran out and they had to turn into the street. The bike made the turn but the wheel chair did not. The wheel chair dumped my girl like a rock skipping across a pond and she thankfully only had a few scrapes.
How often do we grab a hold of or “tie ourselves” to something that seems like a good idea? The girls figured they had on “helmets” to protect them and it looked like fun so why not? Today I am writing to teens but there is a lesson in this is for us adults as well. Teens today are faced with far more drug choices than ever before. Technology has opened the door to many harmful things from sexting to cyber bullying. Teens are pushed to feel that if they are not having sex than there is something wrong with them. Even those kids that are grounded in the Lord are finding themselves “holding onto or tying themselves” to what is of the world in order to fit in.
The crazy idea my daughter and her friend had is a perfect analogy for what peer pressure can do to you. Let’s say peer pressure is the bike. Your friends are saying, “Come on everyone does it”. Wanting to fit in you say yes to what your peers are saying is okay (you have now tied yourself to the bike). Most likely you are still not sure but you have said, “yes” so you follow your friends. You are now in the wheel chair with no control of where the bike or peer pressure is taking you. It wont’ take long before you realize things are out of control and you are picking yourself up with a much deeper hurt than the scratches my daughter got when she crashed.
As I said before, the girls had on their helmets and they figured they were protected if anything was going to happen. The same is true when we choose to do things that the world sees as good or acceptable. In other words we cannot just assume that because we have on our “helmets” of salvation (Eph 6:17) nothing can happen. There will always consequences and we can get hurt when we are not careful what we tie ourselves too.
The “Whatever Girls” verse is bouncing around in may head as I type this. It is perfect for what I am trying to convey: Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 (NIV). Tie yourself to those things!! Hold on to God’s truth so that when you are faced with the temptations of the world no matter how fun they look you will be able to stand firm in The Lord. Choose wisely so that you do not get hurt. Don’t leave God yelling “NOOOO SSSTOPPP!!!” like I had to do with the girls. You never know who is watching you. Actions sometimes speak louder than words so choosing to go honor God in your actions just might encourage others to choose what is good also. Remember just because something looks like fun it doesn’t mean it is a good idea.