Christians and Peer Pressure (Part 2)
Today we will consider a positive form of peer pressure; that is, when our companions encourage us to do that which is right, and we do it.

There are many examples of this kind of peer pressure in the Bible. One Old Testament example that comes to mind is Naaman, commander of the Syrian army. Naaman was a mighty man of valor, but he was also a leper (II Kings 5:1). Leprosy was a dreadful disease. It's been described by some as sort of a living death. The person lives, but their flesh decays. Extremities such as fingers have been known to rot and fall off. What could a person do to overcome leprosy? Not much in that day. However, Naaman was very fortunate. Elisha, a prophet of Israel, gave special instructions for him to go and wash himself in the Jordan River seven times. If he did this, his leprosy would be healed!

One would think that Naaman would be excited about this wonderful news, but he wasn't. II Kings 5:11,12 records - "But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, 'Indeed, I said to myself, "He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy." Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?' So he turned and went away in a rage." Naaman's pride caused him to expect that Elisha would come out and heal him. He was disappointed in this regard, and then was told to go and wash in the Jordan. He was offended by such a suggestion! After all, there were much better rivers that he could wash in--or so he thought.

As Naaman stormed off in a rage, his servants approached him and said - "My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, 'Wash, and be clean'?" (II Kings 5:13). Do you see what is going on here? Peer pressure! Initially, Naaman was not going to obey, but his companions influenced him to do what was right. The next verse indicates that he did obey the prophet and was healed!

Friends, this is the type of peer pressure that is needed today! We shouldn't mind this type of peer pressure. Anytime our companions influence us to do things that are right, we should listen to them and comply, like Naaman did. Yes, he was reluctant at first to obey God, but his companions encouraged him to look at the situation from the proper perspective. Certainly Naaman, after he was cleansed, was thrilled that his servants talked some sense into him and exerted their influence upon him for good. We need companions like this today, and we need to be companions like this. We need encouragement to do that which is right, and we ought to be encouraging others in the way of righteousness (cf. Heb. 3:13).