We are wrong to think that peer pressure is something new. People emulate those they most admire. In turn, they want them to gain their approval. This is most noticeable in the adolescence and teenage years. Words wound; personal stories of the ‘fear of ridicule and rejection’ give credence to peer pressure scenarios. Adults can also be easily swayed.
Consider the case of Apostle Peter.
“ Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.
But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, ‘If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified (Galatians 2:11-16 NKJV).”
I am free in Christ. His love reigns.