“Everybody” Isn’t Always Everybody
Bible Reading: Daniel 1:6-15
Daniel made up his mind not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. Daniel 1:8
Nicholas bounded home from school with an invitation to ride his BMX on the cool bike trails winding through the woods on Robert’s property. “I need to go now, Mom,” he urged. “Can’t you drive me? The guys are meeting right away.”
“I’ve already said no, Nicholas,” his mom repeated.
“Come on, Mom,” Nicholas pleaded. “All the guys are going.”
“It doesn’t matter how many of your friends are going to be there. I don’t want you at a friend’s house—period—without an adult in the house.”
Nicholas stewed in anger all afternoon and evening—until he talked to Robert on Monday. It turned out Trevor was the only guy whose parents let him go. And there was bigger news. Trevor had wiped out on his bike and broken his wrist. With no adult around to help, Robert had to call 911.
Nicholas had bought the common belief that “everybody’s doing it.” What a lie! Fewer people dive into off-limit activities than you might think.
• Everybody is not using tobacco. Surveys indicate that more than 70 percent of high school students don’t smoke regularly.
• Everybody is not using alcohol. More than 50 percent of students surveyed said they had not used alcohol in the last thirty days. More than 20 percent have never tried it.
• Everybody is not doing drugs. Almost 50 percent of all American young people refuse illegal drugs all the way through to high school graduation.
• Everybody is not losing or outgrowing their faith in God. In a recent Barna Research Group study, 65 percent of youth said they want a close relationship with God.*
Students often use the lie that everybody’s doing it to manipulate their friends and parents. Don’t believe it! And even if everybody was doing it, you wouldn’t have to. You can be like Daniel and his three friends. They didn’t yield to the pressure to conform, and God blessed them as a result.
TALK: How do you stay strong when people pressure you to conform?
PRAY: God, give us the courage to resist the line that “everyone is doing it.”
ACT: Promise to catch each other—kids or adults—when you try to use the argument that “everyone is doing it.”
*Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler, Beyond Belief to Convictions (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 2002), 7.