Just Trying To Please

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. – Galatians 2:11-13.

When I was 17 years old just trying to please turned a date into a nightmare. Soon after leaving her home, Mary (Not her real name.), flagged down some friends of hers and invited them to ride around with us. The only problem with that was they had some beer they brought with them when they jumped into my car. But I agreed because I just wanted to please. It was then that they shared with Mary they had heard about a big party somewhere and that it might be out at farm they knew about. We then headed for the farm because I wanted to please Mary even though I knew better.

I found myself driving all over a pasture in the dark hoping I wouldn’t drive into a hole of some kind. It was a little worrisome because this was the first time I had driven my car since getting it back from the body shop as the result of a little accident (I tried to jump a ditch but that’s another story.). Since we didn’t find the “big party”, they thought it must be at the lake and because I wanted to please, I headed for the lake. I was surprised when we arrived at the location because there was a big drunken party going on with a couple of hundred kids. About ten minutes after our arrival highway patrolmen and lake patrol officers arrived to break it up. Of course, when the officers showed up with lights and sirens I headed back to my car along with Mary’s two friends.

To my surprise Mary was not at the car and by the time most of the kids had left finally someone said they thought Mary and some other kids had ran off on foot trying to avoid arrest. So, my new friends and the nice officers waited around for a while. I finally asked and received permission for us to form a search party to try to find them. About an hour later, we finally found Mary and her friends and the officers then sent us on our way. We did make it back to town and I felt a great sense of relief. At least until Mary wanted to stop off at a parking lot where most of the people who had been at the party had gathered. I knew better but because I wanted to please, I stopped and Mary jumped out along with her two friends.

Everything seemed to be fine until Mary hurriedly opened the passenger side door and said with much urgency that we had to leave, right then! Why? Because she said, someone wanted to fight me. Why? Because they thought she was their girlfriend, which was news to me. While I was still talking to Mary, someone jerked open my door and grabbed hold of my shirt shouting obscenities. My foot somehow slipped off the clutch and the jealous “boyfriend” lost his grip and fell down. We took off and I headed directly for Mary’s home and with great relief saw her to the door. When I turned to walk back to my car I was dismayed to see the jealous boyfriend and a bunch of his friends waiting and shouting. I had no desire to have another discussion with the group and so I left town (I lived about 40 miles from Mary’s town.) with a little escort following until they finally lost interest.

The next day I did check on Mary and it seems that while she was escaping from the beach party she came into contact with some poison ivy and was experiencing severe discomfort as a result. I really think that night ended any chance of a relationship between us.

I could have saved myself a very unpleasant evening if I had just chosen to say “no” and done what I knew to be right. But I gave in to my desire to please Mary. However, it is not just kids that try to please and give into peer pressure. Peter gave into pressure when some people he knew from Jerusalem showed up at Antioch. Peter had been eating with the Gentile Christians but because of the peer pressure, he then stopped. The apostle Paul confronted Peter about this hypocrisy, which must have taken much courage.

The next time you find yourself trying to “please” someone it might be a good idea to examine your motives and the possible consequences. It may save you from an unpleasant situation if you just choose to do what you know to be right. I wish I had.

(Coping with peer pressure.)

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *