A few weeks back I saw a tweet posted by a teen and it said “the 8th deadly sin, peer pressure.” I was intrigued by the concept so I hit “reply” and asked him if I could write a blog on the topic of peer pressure today as a deadly sin. He agreed.
We all know the story from the Bible, which created a classification of vices told to early Christians as a way to educate them about sin. The 7 deadly sins are: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride. However, nowhere in the story does it mention peer pressure of any kind. Or others forcing their opinions or actions on you in a negative and detrimental manner. The vices are all related to excessive internal wants or desires, but why doesn’t peer pressure make the list? It’s just as damaging and can lead to very destructive behaviors. Daily, I talk with teens where peer pressure is the number 1 issue they want to discuss. In their words “it’s everywhere” and it seems to occur constantly. I can honestly say that I have never had a conversation with a teen who was concerned about wrath, but peer pressure–yes! Peer pressure is so ugly and harmful to our well-being. I’m sometimes concerned that if we hear the word “peer pressure” too often in the news or media that we will become desensitized to its meaning and impact. Trust me, peer pressure is alive and well and can be just as deadly.