Doing What Is Popular Can Ruin Your Life
Many times, the consequences of our actions do not come back to bite us immediately. There is the pleasure of fitting in and being part of what others are doing. Peer pressure is not confined to children or teens but remains a force for everyone as long as they live. Ed, my old neighbor in Saskatchewan, told me the reason he began smoking was that it was a sign of adulthood among his high school friends. He knew his parents wouldn’t allow his smoking, so he did it secretly.
He might have made smoking a habit, but he dropped a lit cigarette on the driver’s seat of the family car, which burnt a hole that his dad discovered. His consequences for smoking and burning a hole in the car seat were many. He was not allowed to drive the car for a month. He also had to get up and do morning chores at the barn before breakfast and his school bus. His dad said that If he was trying to act like an adult, he could work like one. Lastly, he had to buy a car seat cover for the car.
It is so easy to see a benefit through hindsight. Ed claims that he never did start again after a month of not smoking and has been glad of it. Seeing the link between cancer and tobacco makes Ed happy he didn’t do what his friends were doing. For those that smoke, tobacco may not ruin your health. I hope smoking doesn’t, but it can have that outcome.
The Bible makes it clear that doing what is popular always carries with it some repercussions. Proverbs 20:1 states, “Wine is a mocker and beer is a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.”
Proverbs 23:20,21 warns, “Do not join those who drink too much wine for drunkards become poor.”
Proverbs 23:29-35 paints a clear picture for those willing to see it, “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine who go to sample bowls of mixed wine. Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly. In the end, it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. Your eyes will see strange sights, and your mind imagine confusing things. You will be like one sleeping on high seas, lying on top of the rigging. ‘They hit me,’ you will say, ‘but I’m not hurt! They beat me, but I don’t feel it! When will I wake up so I can find another drink?’”
The pressure to become part of what others are doing isn’t limited to the partaking of tobacco or alcohol. Many also use drugs and become impaired through them. Impaired means unable to function normally or safely. MADD Canada works to focus public awareness with educational programs in schools to help prevent impaired driving. Prevention of impairment is everyone’s duty. Every day in Canada, 4 people are killed on average and many more injured in drug-related crashes. For anyone drinking alcohol or doing drugs, be sure they can ruin your life and also the lives of others when you drive impaired.