Joshua 24:15 (NIV)
But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
I found this cute story that illustrates this verse so well. I hope that this hits home today for you.
One day, Friskey, Bret, Ben, and Gale were playing in the yard. They were having a wonderful time, using their imaginations. They were play-acting that they were all famous "Pirates." Missy came along and watched them for a short time. Then, mustering up lots of courage asked them if she could play too. They all looked at this little kitten with doubt, because of her size, but decided to let her join in any way. They told her she could be the "mascot" on the pirate ship. That made Missy, very happy, so on they went with the game. Now Friskey had a little trouble with rules. He would tend to break them at the most inconvenient times for Farmer. It was not that he was bad. He just wanted to get into things he really should not get into. At least until he got older. Farmer would tell him repeatedly,
"Rules are for your own good Friskey." He would say. "They are not there to harm you, but to keep you from harm."
Friskey knew in his heart Farmer was right, but for some reason, just had to break the rules anyway.
Well, unfortunately, today was one of those days! In the middle of the game, Friskey asked the others if; they wanted to sneak up into the loft of the barn? He said it would make a great "ship." Now, all the animals knew they were not permitted to play in the loft. It was for safety reasons.
If one of them fell, they could get seriously hurt. They knew this, but without thinking it out, they said, "Yes, let's do that!"
All, but Missy. Missy was not sure of this game any more. She looked up at the loft, and remembered the words of Farmer.
"Stay out of the loft kids. It is very high up, and if you should fall, you could get very hurt. I would not want that to happen to any of you. I love you too much."
Missy knew it was wrong to do, but she was afraid to say anything to the others. After all, she was new, to the Barnyard and so little also. Why would they listen to her, or for that matter, even care what she had to say. This was a new dilemma for Missy. If she went along with the others, she would be wrong to do so, and be breaking the rules. That could mean big trouble with farmer, not to mention her Mother also. Yet, on the other hand, if she did not go along, the other kids would call her "chicken," and not want to play with her at all anymore.
"Oh," thought Missy, "What do I do?" Missy watched the others start to the stairs that led up to the loft. They all turned and saw her just standing there.
"Well?" They asked, "Are you coming?"
"No, I am not." Said Missy, with a slight quiver in her voice. "And you should not go either! Farmer told us it was off limits!" Her own words shocked her! "Where did that come from?" She thought.
The other kids looked at her, then at Friskey. Suddenly, they were faced with the same dilemma Missy had faced. Do they go along with Friskey, or, like Missy said, not go, for it was breaking the rules?
Missy watched them trying to make up their minds. Finally, she said,
"My Mother told me that as for her and her house hold, we were going to obey, and serve the Farmer! I love Farmer, and I know he loves me. I will be obedient to him and my Mother. I'm leaving!"
With that said, she turned around and walked out of the barn, into the sunlit yard again. It was not until she was quite a ways from the barn; that she turned to see them all following her out; even Friskey was coming out. The other kids thanked her for being bold enough to stop them from doing something wrong. Missy told them, "Your welcome, but even if I had walked out here alone, I would not have done what I know was wrong to do. I hope you all did it because it was the "right" thing to do. Farmer will be pleased with us, no matter what, but it pleases him even more, if we do it with the right motives."
All the kids nodded in agreement,each of them had learned a very good lesson that day. They each learned that even if everyone says,
"Let's do it". That; does not make it, the "right" thing to do!
Dear Lord, help us be strong and do the things that we know are right. Help us not give into the peer pressure around us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.