The Metal Spider
Have your friends ever told you to do something you weren't comfortable with? Do you get a feeling deep in your gut telling you not to do it, but you feel if you don't then your friends won't like you? I have and I learned a painful lesson about peer pressure when I was seven years old.
Recess had just started at my grade school and the playground was full of swings, slides, and monkey bars galore! None were as feared however, as the dreaded jungle gym, also known as the “Metal Spider” by my classmates. The dome-shaped gym stood only eight feet off the ground, but it felt so much higher when you only stood three feet from the dirt. I tried my best to avoid the Metal Spider as much I as I could, for fear of getting hurt. Until one day, my friends dared me to climb to the top and dangle upside down from my legs. At first I said no, but they continued to push me and call me names. I gave in to my friends’ pressure and climbed to the peak of the Metal Spider.
I took one deep breath before I closed my eyes and leaned back, legs arched over the bars. I opened my eyes and what did I see? I saw myself suspended in midair, looking down at the ground from so high up... For about three seconds! My legs slipped off the Metal Spider and in what felt like the speed of light, I fell to the hard, dirty ground, hitting face first, nearly breaking my nose! I got up in tears and went straight to the school nurse. Thankfully, I didn't break anything!
I did, however, learn a valuable lesson that day about peer pressure and to listen to God when He is speaking to you. Galatians 1:10 says, "Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” You will have many friends in life. Some will be good influences and some will not. We may never know who is or isn't our friend until it's too late. However, there's one friend that will always stay by your side forever and always have your best interests in mind. That friend is God. Always listen to what God tells you and ignore those who tell you otherwise. When you always listen to God, you can never make a wrong decision.
By Kyle Hines, Southwestern Union Communication Intern