The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.
- Proverbs 29:25
I, even I, am He that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass.
- Isaiah 51:12
Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue.
- John 12:42
For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
- Galatians 2:12
Mary was not interested in dating Allan, but he had called her three times. Rather than politely informing him of the truth, however, she had responded in the following ways.
The first time, she told him she would have liked to, but she had to babysit; the second time, she told him she had a family get-together she could not miss; the third time, she asked her mother to tell him she was not home.
We can deceive others through pretense - by pretending to be someone we are not, or by portraying an impression of ourselves that is not true.
Peer pressure can be a strong influence in this way. All people, since our sinful fall, have an inner fear of loneliness. From this fear arises the thought that we had better look, dress, talk, and act like the others in our peer groups, or else we will not be accepted by, and included in, the group. Our pride fears the thought of being left out or laughed at. Due to this inner fear, a group actually exerts pressure on each individual to conform. We call this force "peer pressure." In the teen years, when maturing from child to adult and seeking to establish one's own identity, a person often faces the strongest peer pressure forces.
Peer pressure is often deceitful, for one person judges another from his outward communication, from his words and actions. But the person's outward communication may not reflect, and in fact may oppose, his true inward thoughts, feelings, and desires. The following example illustrates this truth.
One evening, seventeen-year-old Joe was with four of his friends - John, Bruce, Phil, and Walter - in Walter's car.
Pulling away from a stoplight on a wide straight section of the road, Walter pressed the accelerator to the floor.
"Neat, man - Go!" Phil exclaimed.
Joe and the others watched the speedometer climb to 40... 50... 60 mph (65... 80... 95 km/h) in a 40 mph (65 km/h) speed zone.
Inwardly Bruce was nervous, but not wanting to be different, he added, "Keep it to the floor, Walt!"